The Q&A Archives: Heavenly Bamboo?

Question: We purchase 2 shrubs yesterday and the tag said they are Heavenly Bamboo (nandina domestica). We looked in our gardening books when we got home and they look much more like Moon Bay Nandina. Is there a sure way to tell? Sizes vary greatly between the species and we need to space them properly. Thanks

Answer: There's really no way to tell without comparing the plants, or by reading the descriptions and choosing the one that best fits the plants you have. Here's what I know about nandina cultivars:
Compacta (Nana); 4 to 5 feet; Red winter foliage; white flowers; red berries.
Moon Bay; 1.5 to 2.5 feet; Bright red to reddish green winter color; leaves are smaller than the species with a slight cupping tendency; light green summer leaves; grows into a broad mound. Okame; Uniform bright red foliage color in early season; mounded, compact habit. Plum Passion; 4 to 5 feet by 3 to 4 feet; New growth is deep purplish red; deep green in summer; reddish purple in winter; narrow leaflets; moderate growth rate. Town and Country; 2 feet by 4 feet; foliage similar to the species; heavy berry set. Umpqua Princess; 3 to 5 feet, Typical foliage. Umpqua Warrior; 6 to 9 feet, typical foliage. 'Royal Princess'; an upright growing shrub to 6 to 8 feet tall has very lacy foliage. Pinkish white flowers bloom in clusters at the ends of branches in the late spring and summer followed by a heavy set of red berries ( notably heavier than most Nandina cultivars). The foliage turns to burgundy in spring and later a orange-red in fall. Branching stands stiffly upright unlike typical Nandina domestica and the foliage has a much finer texture.

Hope this helps you!

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