Sacred Bamboo SB101805 

Chinese Privet
Sacred bamboo or nandina (Nandina domestica) is bushy evergreen shrub yielding bright red berries in the fall and winter.

IDENTIFICATION: An erect, multi-stemmed bushy evergreen shrub, to 8 ft. tall, stems resembling a woody to fleshy bamboo, glossy pinnately- to bipinnately-compound leaves, green or reddish tinged, and white to pinkish flowers in terminal clusters. Pith bright yellow.

Abundant flowers in May – June, 4-10 inches long, pink in bud opening white to cream with yellow centers, deciduous petals, fragrant. Light green, spherical berry ripening to bright red, in September – December.

ECOLOGY: Shade tolerant and occurring under forest canopies and near forest edges. Commonly planted around old homes and escaped, with various cultivars of varying leaf colors. Colonizes by sprouts and spreads by animal-dispersed seeds. Seedlings are frequent near plantings. Some cultivars do not produce viable seeds.

HERBICIDE CONTROL: Apply a glyphosate herbicide as a 1% solution (4 ounces per 3-gal. mix) in water with a surfactant to thoroughly wet all leaves in August to October. Apply Garlon 4 as a 20% solution (2.5 quarts per 3-gal. mix) in commercially available basal oil, diesel fuel, or kerosene with a penetrant (check with herbicide distributor) to young bark as a basal spray. Cut and treat large stems with Arsenal AC as 10% solutions (1 quart per 3-gal. mix) or a glyphosate herbicide as a 20% solution (2.5 quarts per 3-gal. mix) in water with a surfactant. Collect and destroy fruit.

WARNING: Arsenal AC will damage plants with roots in the treated area. Always read and follow label directions carefully.

Photo and Text Credit: Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests, James Miller, 2004,

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Additional Resources:
-Invasive Plant Council