Heavenly bamboo only has one species, N. domestica, from Japan and China. It makes upright, woody stems, with branching 3-pinnate leaflets. Frothy heads of flowers appear in summer, sometimes followed by red berries. Good for a shady garden spot, but will take sunshine in a moisture-retentive soil. Over 100 forms have been developed in Japan, with some now available in the UK. Often making them much more compact, so very suitable for smaller gardens and enhancing the beauty and colour of the foliage. In Japan it is often planted near the house for good luck.

Although the flowers are visited by bees and other insects, by repute the berries are not eaten by birds or mammals, as they can produce cyanide (as can all of the tissues of the plant). Which does rather beg the question, why produce berries? Somebody must be eating them and dispersing them in their native eastern Asia.

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