-

-
Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nandna domestica 'Fire Power' is my Favorite Plant, this week...

The longer I garden, the more I want something interesting at which to look in the winter as well as the other three seasons.  We're lucky in the pacific northwest to have so many conifers and broad leaved evergreens to color our gardens with great foliage color.  My favorite this week is Nandina domestica 'Fire Power" and also Nandina domestica nana purpurea.  Here are two of each which jumped in my car on a recent visit to Bark and Garden (More about that in another post.)
 
 
You really can't beat these plants for color this time of the year!
 
 
From the Missouri Botanical Garden's website comes this information:
 
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Some tolerance for full shade, but foliage often grows best in sun with some afternoon shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils, but prefers moist humusy ones. Best with consistent watering. This shrub is evergreen in the warm winter climates of USDA Zones 8-10. In the St. Louis area, it is considered to be semi-evergreen to deciduous because plants will typically lose their foliage (become deciduous) as soon as winter temperatures dip below 10 F., with the stems sometimes dying to the ground. Plants are not reliably winter hardy to the St. Louis area, and if grown therein, should be sited in protected locations with organic winter mulches applied.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Nandina domestica, commonly called heavenly bamboo, is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that is ornamentally grown for its interesting foliage and its often spectacular fruit display. It is native to Japan, China and India. This is a rhizomatous, upright, evergreen shrub that typically grows to 4-8’ tall and to 2-4’ wide. In St. Louis, it is semi-evergreen to deciduous, and typically grows shorter since the stems often will die to the ground in winter. Although it belongs to the Barberry family, it is commonly called heavenly bamboo because its erect, cane-like stems and compound leaves resemble bamboo. Tiny whitish flowers with yellow anthers appear in late spring in loose, erect, terminal clusters. Flowers are followed by sprays of spherical, two-seeded, red berries which persist from fall to spring, providing winter interest. Heavenly bamboo tends to invade adjacent lands including certain forested areas of the southeastern U. S. and naturalize therein. It is now considered to be an invasive species in some southern states. 'Fire Power' (or 'Firepower') is a dwarf form that typically grows to only 2' tall and as wide. It does not produce flowers or fruit, and is basically grown for its attractive foliage. Leaves emerge lime green in spring, mature to medium green, and acquire some red tints in mid to late summer before turning firey red in fall. Where evergreen, the leaves usually retain excellent red color throughout winter. 'Fire Power' was developed in New Zealand, possibly as a sport of Nandina domestica 'Atropurpurea Nana'.
 


At Bark and Garden, these are waiting to be loaded onto one of two trucks.  One is on its way to the Tacoma Home and Garden Show which opens today and runs through Sunday.  The other truck will be packed with plants to go to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle that opens on Wednesday, February 6.  What an exciting time of year! 
 
Anyway, back to the lovely Nandinas - These look lovely among other evergreens and add a lovely punctuation to the yellows, blues, and greens of their mates.


Mine will probably stay in pots so that they can be moved around to provide winter color where it's needed. 

For more on this foliar star of the winter garden look here.  For links to other bloggers' favorite plants this week, go to Danger Garden and check out the comments section!  My favorite plant this week was started by Ms. Danger herself, Loree Bohl.


20 comments:

  1. Still digesting the idea that Nandina domestica can be invasive somewhere when I'm used to seeing this stalwart as a tame, undemanding thing. The Fire Power you have certainly have a very strong colour, so garden worthy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're not invasive here either. I love garish colors, especially in the winter.

      Delete
  2. Love the name "fire power"...glad to see there were others at the nursery besides the ones being loaded on the truck. I thought maybe you'd snatched yours from the garden show inventory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'd never do something like that... There were a lot in the the store's inventory. I'm wondering what else they'll pull out of the back greenhouses. Last year their big hit at the show was a huge flowered Hellebore.

      Delete
  3. I share your love for Nandina. They don't stand out in Spring or Summer when the garden explodes with other showy stuff. Instead, Winter is their moment to shine. Since planting trees in the parking strip can be a tricky business, I planted 2 Nandinas there which now stand 6' & 8' tall. Their winter berries are great in Ikebana, when I can't find a flower to save my life.
    I know you'll be heading to the Tacoma show: can't wait for the report back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am trying to introduce more winter interest plants in my parking strips. They look great late spring through fall but in winter, they look a little bleak. I've never been to the Tacoma Show so it should be fun!

      Delete
  4. I'll admit, I'm not fond of most broadleaved evergreens...but you and Jane today simultaneously featured the two I do like today...Manzanitas and Nandinas :-) There is a swathe of them down the street from us (not sure of the variety), but they are ablaze with color right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are such cheerful plants for this time of year!

      Delete
  5. I grew a dwarf Nandina domestica at our former home and found that it self-seeded far less than the tall variety we inherited with our current house. Even the latter, though, are manageable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know that they aren't thuggish for you!

      Delete
  6. I agree with you about winter interest and color. The nandina is lovely.
    I will miss the NW Flower and garden show this year, only the second one we've missed since they started. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That darned surgery! I know that all will go well and you will have a speedy recovery! We'll post lots of pictures of the show for you!

      Delete
  7. Absolutely gorgeous, I love the effect from a distance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are yummy this time of year where there is less color in our gardens.

      Delete
  8. I have just one (wonder why) dwarf nandina, but it cozies up to a beautyberry for a dynamic show as long as those luminous purple berries last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I may have to copy your idea as the purple and red combination would be amazing!

      Delete
  9. The Firepower really color up well. I like the fall color of some of my Nandinas too. None of mine seem to sucker but I have seen some that do. I love any broadleaf evergreens in the winter, I'm not so fond of the others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the rampant suckering requires moist heat like what they have in the southeastern states where that seems to be a problem? We're so lucky to live where we do and have so many choices of great plants!

      Delete
  10. What I am about to say is in no way meant to disparage your plant of the week, but 'Firepower' is overused here by unimaginative commercial landscapes and local plant snobs considered it a strip mall plant. That said, I sold a ton of them in my retail days because I knew that people new to gardening could not fail with 'Firepower' or any other Nandina for that matter. As to invasive, they are not so much here, and since 'Firepower' produces no flowers or fruit it, definitely isn't.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Some perfectly good plants get a bad reputation from overuse. Here it's viburnum davidii that's mass planted in practically every sidewalk crack -- sad really as it's a very nice plant! I haven't seen nandina used as a strip mall plant here but then I don't get out much. I have killed a couple of nandinas but then I have a special talent for killing plants that other people have no problem growing.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.