FLIP: Florida Invasive Plants

Nandina domestica

Common Name(s): Sacred bamboo, heavenly bamboo


India to East Asia 

Ecological Impact

May form dense groves in certain habitats, displacing native Florida fauna and flora (Langeland and Burks, 1998).  Listed as a Category I invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC). 


An evergreen erect shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall.  Leaves are alternate and large (2-3 times odd pinnately compound).  The overlapping sheaths on the main stem give the appearance of bamboo. Bark is woody and tan to brown in color, with fissures near the base.  Flowers are small with pink to white colored petaloid parts.  The fruit is a bright red, 2-seeded globose berry (Miller, Chambliss, and Loewenstein, 2010). 

Identification Tips

Look for green leaves with a lacy appearance that turn red in the cool season and bright red berries about 6-12 mm in diameter (Langeland and Burks, 1998) that appear in the fall and early spring.  Flowers are pink to white, fragrant and bloom in early summer (Miller, Chambliss, and Loewenstein, 2010). 


Introduced to the United States in the 1800s as an ornamental plant (Miller, Chambliss, and Loewenstein, 2010). 

Florida Range

 Central and northern Florida; including a few southwestern counties (Lee and Pinellas).

Prevention/Management Strategies

Do not plant.


Most photos courtesy of the Atlas of Florida Plants; click for additional plant details.

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Florida Invasive Plants