The lights have been taken down, the decorations have been put away for another year, and the effects of winter are upon us. It is harder to find my sources of inspiration on daily walks through the neighborhood. This particular tree has become my happiness and bright spot of the day. However; is it pepperberry…or not? I have Googled images that look pretty close, asked several top designer friends, and even questioned NYC’s wholesale market. The verdict is divided, what do you think?
Well, after much back and forth, Googling, and information from friends; it is Nandina! So, a little bit about Nandina…..
Nandina is also known as Heavenly Bamboo or Sacred Bamboo, even though it is not a bamboo at all. It is actually an erect shrub that all parts of the plant are poisonous. It is best kept away from cats and grazing animals, as it is potentially fatal if ingested by them. Surprisingly, birds are not affected by the toxins.
Nandina is widely used as an ornamental plant. It is also used for holiday floral decorations. In Shanghai the berries are sold on the streets at New Year for decoration of home altars and temples. It is also a great landscape planting because it deters rabbits, dear, and javelina.