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Nandina domestica 'Gulf Stream'

(Gulf Stream Heavenly Bamboo)


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Common Names

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Common Names in English:

Gulf Stream Heavenly Bamboo, Gulfstream Nandina, Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina


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Family Berberidaceae

Herbs or shrubs [trees ], perennial , evergreen or deciduous, sometimes rhizomatous . Stems with or without spines. Leaves alternate, opposite, or fascicled, simple , 2-3-foliolate, or 1-3-pinnately or 2-3(-4) -ternately compound ; stipules present or absent; venation pinnate or palmate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary , racemes , cymes, umbels (or umbel-like), spikes, or panicles, or flowers solitary or in pairs, flowers pedicellate or sessile. Flowers bisexual , inconspicuous or showy, radially symmetric ; stipitate glands absent (except in Vancouveria ) ; sepaloid bracteoles 0-9; perianth sometimes absent ( Achlys ), more frequently present, 2- or 3-merous, or sepals and petals intergrading ( Nandis ) ; sepals 6, distinct , often petaloid and colored , not spurred ; petals 6-9, distinct, plane or hooded ; nectary present; stamens 6; anthers dehiscing by valves or longitudinal slits; ovary superior, apparently 1-carpellate; placentation marginal or appearing basal; style present or absent, sometimes persistent in fruit as beak . Fruits follicles, berries , or utricles. Seeds 1-50, sometimes arillate ; endosperm abundant; embryo large or small; mature seeds elevated on elongating stalk in Caulophyllum.

Genera 15, species ca. 650 (8 genera, 33 species in the flora ) : widespread, well represented in the north temperate zone.

Berberidaceae presents several interesting biogeographic features. Achlys is disjunct from western North America to east Asia with few morphologic differences between taxa. Diphylleia, Jeffersonia, and Podophyllum, each with a single eastern North American species, exhibit wide disjunctions to east Asia. Caulophyllum has three species, one in east Asia and two in the flora. Vancouveria is endemic to northwestern United States with nearest relations to Epimedium Linnaeus (H. Loconte and J. R. Estes 1989b; W. T. Stearn 1938), an exclusively Eastern Hemisphere genus.

Nandina, Berberis, Epimedium, and Podophyllum are cultivated.

The perianth of Berberidaceae is commonly composed of three distinct types of organs, but terminology for the organs varies from author to author. In our treatment, we refer to the small, outer parts as bracteoles (collectively forming a calyculus) ; the large, middle parts as sepals; and the innermost parts, which are commonly nectariferous , as petals. Some authors have referred to the bracteoles as outer sepals and to the petals as staminodes.[1]

Genus Nandina

Shrubs , evergreen , to ca. 2 m , glabrous . Rhizomes absent. Aerial stems monomorphic , mostly unbranched, with leaves densely clustered mostly along distal 1/3 of plant. Leaves persistent , alternate, 2-3-pinnately compound ; petiole attached at base of blade , petioles and petiolules swollen at base. Leaf blade broadly ovate in overall outline, 30-50 cm; leaflet blades elliptic to ovate to lanceolate, margins entire; venation pinnate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary panicles of dozens to hundreds of flowers. Flowers 3-merous, 5-7 mm; bracteoles present; all perianth parts caducous , cream to white; sepals and petals intergrading, 27-36; nectariferous petals absent; stamens 6; anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits; pollen exine punctate ; ovary club-shaped; placentation submarginal ; style central. Fruits berries , red to purplish, orbicular . Seeds 1-3, grayish or brownish; aril absent.

Species 1: North America, Asia.

Nandina is treated as a separate family , Nandinaceae, by A. Takhtajan (1986).[2]

Physical Description

Habit: Upright semi-evergreen shrub .

Flowers: White flowers. • Bloom Period: September. • Flower Color: near white, white

Seeds: Fruit: Red berry clusters .

Foliage: Summer foliage: Bright green leaves. • Fall foliage: Good fall colors. Green leaves are highlighted with reds and bronze in winter.


Growth Rate: Slow. • Size: 2-4'tall and 3-6' wide.


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Culture: Space 36-48" apart.

Soil: Minimum pH: 5.6 • Maximum pH: 7.5

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade.

Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 9a. (map)


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An accepted name in the RHS Horticultural Database.

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Nandina

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 28 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

N. domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica nana 'Firehouse' (Firehouse Dwarf Purple Nandina) · N. domestica var. Heavenly Bamboo (Heavenly Bamboo Nandina) · N. domestica var. leucocarpa (Yellow-Fruited Nandina) · N. domestica var. linearifolia (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Compacta' (Compact Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Filamentosa' (Dwarf Nandina) · N. domestica 'Firehouse' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Fire Power' (Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Gulf Stream' (Gulf Stream Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Harbor Belle' (Harbor Belle Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Harbour Dwarf' (Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Monfar' (Nandina) · N. domestica 'Monum' (Plum Passion® Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Moon Bay' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Moyers Red' (Dwarf Nandina) · N. domestica 'Nana Purpurea' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Okame' (Okame Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Plum Passion' (Plum Passion Nandina) · N. domestica 'Richmond' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Robinet' (Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Royal Princess' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'San Gabriel' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Sienna Sunrise' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Umpqua Chief' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Umpqua Princess' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Umpqua Warrior' (Heavenly Bamboo) · N. domestica 'Woods Dwarf' (Dwarf Nandina)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. Whetstone, R. David, T. A. Atkinson and Daniel D. Spaulding "Berberidaceae". in Flora of North America Vol. 3. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
  2. R. David Whetstone, T.A. Atkinson & Daniel D. Spaulding "Nandina". in Flora of North America Vol. 3. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2/1/2015