Nandina domestica - Thunb.
Heavenly Bamboo
Other English Common Names: Nandina, Sacred-bamboo
Other Common Names: sacred bamboo
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Nandina domestica Thunb. (TSN 18848)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.155397
Element Code: PDBER07010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Barberry Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Ranunculales Berberidaceae Nandina
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Nandina domestica
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Texas (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, FLexotic, GA, KYexotic, LAexotic, MSexotic, NCexotic, SCexotic, TXexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: High/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Unknown
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Nandina domestica, or Heavenly Bamboo, is a common garden ornamental that is escaping from cultivation in the southeastern United States and invading natural areas. This species has invaded states along the Atlantic coast from Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas. It has invaded natural areas in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Texas. This small shrub is reported to be forming dense groves in some parts of Florida where it is displacing native vegetation including two rare native species. It does appear to be spreading at least locally in Florida and Texas. N. domestica produces many bright red berries that are attractive to birds that disperse the seeds. Overall, this species appears to be quite problematic in Florida, however, throughout much of its generalized range it doesn't appear as aggressive. It should certainly be watched given that it occurs in both wet and drier habitats, including floodplains and woodlands.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Medium
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Insignificant
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 19Aug2004
Evaluator: Oliver, L.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Nandina domestica is native to China and Japan (GRIN). Langeland and Burk (1998) also report that this species is native India.

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Nandina domestica is established as a non-native outside of cultivation in all states that border the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico from Virginia south to Florida, and west to Louisiana and Texas (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Nandina domestica has invaded natural areas including floodplains, secondary woods, and woodlands in Florida and other southeastern states. It is also in conservation areas in several counties in Florida (Langeland and Burks 1998).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: High/Medium

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:High/Moderate significance
Comments: While no direct information was found about specific ecological impacts, this species is known to be quite problematic in Florida where it forms dense groves displacing native vegetation (Langeland and Burks 1998). It presumably causes alterations of abiotic processes given that it forms dense stands and displaces native vegetation, suggesting that it may remove significant amounts of soil nutrients.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: Nandina domestica is a shrub that has been noted to form dense groves in Florida where it displaces native vegetation (Landgeland and Burks 1998). It alters the vegetation structure by shading forbs.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High significance
Comments: In Florida this ornamental species has formed dense groves in at least one park and is replacing native vegetation (Langeland and Burks 1998). It probably also lowers the seedling germination success of native species in areas where it occurs in dense stands.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: More than one rare native species is affected by Nandina domestica. In Florida, Aquilegia canadensis, red columbine, and Hydrangea quercifolia, oak-leaf hydrangea, both endagnered species in Florida are being displaced by Nandina (Langeland and Burks 1998).

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: As mentioned earlier, Nandina domestica, negatively affects the endangered red columbine, Aquilegia canadensis, and the oak-leaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia in a state park in Florida (Langeland and Burks 1998).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Insignificant

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Nandina domestica occurs in all states that border the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia south to Florida, and the states that border the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida to Texas (Kartesz 1999). County data from several states suggest, however, that the generalized range of this species may be far more narrow than the state map indicates. This species has escaped from cultivation in 1 county in North Carolina (PLANTS), 6 counties in Florida (Wunderlin and Hansen), and more than 10 counties in Lousiana (LSU Ag Center).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Nandina domestica may be having negative affects on biodiversity in more areas, but the only direct information found was for Florida and the adjacent portions of Alabama and Georgia, where it has invaded woodlands (Landgeland and Burks 1998) and in Texas around the Austin area (Bull Creek Foundation 2003). In Texas this species has invaded greenbelts and wild areas of parks (Bull Creek Foundation 2003). It has also invaded other parts of Florida where it is having a negative affect on biodiversity, including Jackson, Gadsen, Leon, Wakulla, and Citrus counties (Langeland and Burks 1998).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Nadina has invaded at least 4 and probably more biogeographic regions (TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: This species is reported to occur in floodplains and woodlands in Florida and other states (Langeland and Burks 1998). While these two are the only habitat types found where Nandina has invaded, because floodplains and forests comprise two different sets of environmental qualities, it is suspected that this non-native species has the capability of invading other habitats.

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: It is difficult to assess whether or not this species is spreading on its own, since it is widely used as a garden ornamental. It does appear to be spreading in Florida, however, as it is known to form dense groves and is dispersed by birds (Langeland and Burks 1998).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Unknown
Comments: It is not clear what proportion of its potential range it already occurs in.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Long distance dispersal does probably occur at least sometimes as birds and small animals eat the fruit of this species (Miller 2003, Langeland and Burks 1998)

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Moderate significance
Comments: This species is expanding locally, especially in Florida in the Florida Caverns State Park where it is reported to be forming dense groves (Langeland and Burks 1998). It also appears to be locally expanding in some areas in Texas (Bull Creek Foundation 2003).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:High/Moderate significance
Comments: This species is a non-native in many parts of the world including, many countries in Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America. While persisting as a non-native species in many continents it is only invasive in the southeastern United States (Weber 2003). This species has invaded well established natural areas in Florida, Alabama and Georgia (Langeland and Burks 1998).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Unknown
Comments: Information about the habitats this species has invaded outside of the United States was not found.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Nandina domestica produces large amounts of seeds which are dispersed by birds and it can be propagated not only by seeds but also by root sprouts (Miller 2003). It has also been noted that this species seeds take many months to germinate (Langeland and Burks 1998).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:Medium/Low significance
Comments: This species is somewhat difficult to manage. It produces a strong taproot so digging out mature individuals is difficult but can be controlled by cutting the stems near the ground and applying an herbicide to the stems (Weber 2003).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Unknown

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: No specific information about how the management of this non-native species affects surrounding native species was found. It is reasonable to assume that there are some negative affects to native species when herbicides are used to control Heavenly Bamboo.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Unknown
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Bull Creek Foundation. 2003. Managing invasive species and what we cut down when performing trail work and maintenance. Online at: http://www.bullcreek.net/invsiveplants.html. Accessed on: August 18, 2004.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiii + 590 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • LSU Ag Center. 2001. Lousiana Invasive Plants. Prish Specis Map of Nandina domestica. Online at: http://lsuagcenter.com/invasive/ParishSpecies Map.asp?species=Nandina%20domestica. Accessed on: August 18, 2004.

  • Langeland, K.A. and K.C. Burks. 1998. Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas. University of Florida. 165 pp. [http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/identif.html]

  • Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 pp.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2001. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/var/apache/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?6438. (Accessed 2004)

  • USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov) . National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 548 pp.

  • Wunderlin, R.P. and B.F. Hansen. No date. Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Available: http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/maps. (Accessed 2004).

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