Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Energy and Environment

Experts Call Attention To A Landscape Shrub Whose Berries Are Often Fatal To Birds.

Courtesy of the Southern Illinois Master Naturalists.
Heavenly Bamboo Shrub.

Experts are calling attention to a popular landscape shrub commonly known as Heavenly Bamboo.

(Scientific name:  Nandina domestica ).  https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=NADO

This shrub has dark green leaves and bears clusters of vivid red berries which ripen in mid winter.

However, there have been several documented reports of birds eating the berries and dying soon after.

According to the Audubon Society, and other experts, these berries contain chemicals that produce hydrogen cyanide.

In this feature WSIU radio talks to several experts:

Austin Little, Horticulture Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Service.

Chris Evans, Forestry Extension and Research Specialist with the University of Illinois

at Urbana-Champaign.

If you would like a list of alternative plants, which are native to southern Illinois, which you can plant instead of Nandina domestica, browse to:  http://ill-inps.org/southern-chapter/

Related Stories