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Nandina news; look over two new well-behaved dwarfs on the market.

Look over two new well-behaved dwarfs on the market

Heavenly bamboo's botanical name, Nandina domestica, only hints at how extraordinarily well this small shrub takes to domestication. It thrives in all but the coldest parts of the West (don't plant where it gets colder than 10'). It takes shade in all areas and full sun in mild climates, does well on regular summer water but tolerates drought, and makes a fine indoor plant.

Since 1987, two new varieties of dwarf heavenly bamboo have come on the market, each unique and valuable.

'Gulf Stream' is the older of the pair. Compared with the compact, domeshaped 'Harbour Dwarf' (which is among the best and most widely available of the dwarfs), 'Gulf Stream' is a more open, informal plant. Its summer green leaves become reddish in winter, especially in locations that get regular frosts and some direct sun.

'Moon Bay', new this spring, is more upright than other dwarf heavenly bamboos. But the plant's fine, dense foliage really sets it apart: even a small bird would have trouble getting through it. As on 'Gulf Stream', the leaves of 'Moon Bay' turn reddish in winter.

Both 'Gulf Stream' and 'Moon Bay' grow to be about 3 feet tall, with 'Gulf Stream' tending to be slightly taller. Unlike many kinds of nandinas, these haven't been known to produce any white flowers and red fruits.

Unlike 'Harbour Dwarf', neither one of these two new varieties spreads much by rhizomes.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1989
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