Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’

23 Apr

Nandina 'Firepower' Leaf (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ Leaf (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer to autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 45cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Berberidaceae

Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ is an evergreen/ semi-evergreen low growing shrub. Its green/ yellow leaves are compound, glossy, up to 60cm long, with the individual leaflets up to 8cm long and 2cm broad. The leaves turn orange/ red during the autumn and these persist on the plant through the winter months. The old leaves turn red/ purple before falling off. Its branches. It has numerous unbranched stems. Its flowers are star shaped, small, white in colour, borne in conical panicles. Its red fruit is a berry and up to 10 mm in diameter, these persist on the plant through the winter months.

The species Nandina domestica, commonly known as Nandina, Heavenly Bamboo or Sacred Bamboo, is native to eastern Asia, from Japan to the Himalayas. Despite the common name, this plant is not a Bamboo. It was introduced into the USA in 1804, from China. It is the only species within this genus.

The etymological root of the binomial name Nandina, is derived from the Japanese name ‘Nandyna’. Domestica is derived from the Latin domesticus ’domestic’, referring to the plants various uses within Japanese households.

Nandina 'Firepower' (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ (11/03/2012, Kew, London)

The landscape architect may find Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ useful as a low maintenance low growing evergreen shrub. This plant is resistant to rabbits and deer. It prefers a sheltered site. Care should be taken when locating this plant as its consumption is mildly toxic.

Ecologically, Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ is attractive to bees and pollinating insects. The berries are attractive to birds.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2002.

Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’ requires little maintenance. Dead material may be removed in early spring and if required a third of the living plant can be removed without affecting growth in that season.

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