Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’

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The Japanese Sacred Bamboo (Nandina domestica) grows naturally in Japan, China and south-east Asia through to eastern India. It is said to be the most commonly used plant in Japan. Even more popular in Australian gardens is its dwarf form, Nandina domestica ‘Nana’ (‘nana’ means small or dwarf).

In our segment Don looked at an exciting new dwarf form of nandina which has just been released in Australia, called Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’. Although these plants have bamboo-like foliage they are not related to bamboo, so there is no need to worry about them taking over the garden.

Plant details

Common name: Dwarf nandina

Botanic name: Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’


Dense, evergreen shrub which grows into a rounded bun shape about 50cm (20″) high and 50cm (20″) wide. It is smaller than the species but slightly larger than the dwarf form, ‘Nana’. It has graceful, bamboo-like foliage, colouring to beautiful orange and scarlet tones in the cooler months of the year.

Best climate

‘Gulf Stream’ will grow in all areas of Australia.


low hedge mass planting street and industrial landscaping tubs understorey plant

Good points:

wonderful red foliage colour in the cooler months almost unkillable very hardy very compact


As ‘Gulf Stream’ is a new release it may be difficult to find in nurseries.


Once established, ‘Gulf Stream’ needs very little care or maintenance. It can be grown in sun or semi-shade. Do not give the plant too much water or fertiliser.

Further information

Limited supplies of ‘Gulf Stream’ are available in all states except the Northern Territory.
Plants in 200mm (8″) pots cost about $15.

Nana Mouskouri is touring Australia during March. See local newspapers for details.