T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Nandina domestica (Heavenly bamboo)

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Nandina
Species: N. domestica
Binomial name: Nandina domestica
Common name: Sacred Bamboo, Nandina, Heavenly bamboo

Nandina domestica is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Nandina. There are several cultivars, some that don’t produce fruit.
Nandina domestica has invaded forests throughout the Southeast United States and it has the possibility in New Zealand to become invasive. It is shade tolerant, which will allow it to invade forest edges and interiors if it escapes.

Nandina domestica is an erect evergreen shrub up to 2.4 m tall by 1.5 m wide, with numerous, usually unbranched stems growing from ground level. 
The glossy leaves are sometimes deciduous in colder areas, 50–100 cm long, bi- to tri-pinnately compound, with the individual leaflets 4–11 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad. The young leaves in spring are brightly coloured pink to red before turning green; old leaves turn red or purple again before falling. The overlapping leaf sheaths give the main stem the appearance of bamboo, hence the common names that include the word bamboo.
The older stems have bark with long, linear furrows.
Flowering occurs in the spring when small, white flowers develop in large, conical panicles at the ends of the stems usually held above the foliage. Flowers have 3-6 reflexed petals.
The fruit is first green which matures in late autumn to a 5–10 mm diameter. bright red berry. They often persisting through the winter.

All parts of this plant are poisonous, containing compounds that decompose to produce hydrogen cyanide, and could potentially be fatal if ingested. The plant is placed in the U.S.A's toxicity category 4, the category "generally considered non-toxic to humans", but the berries are considered toxic to cats and grazing animals. This link is an interesting article on the toxicity of Nandina berries to birds. https://www.swcd.net/invasive-noxious-weeds/nandina/ 

Berries changing to a bright red colour. May.

Developing fruit just after flowering.

The leaves.

The upper surface of the leaves.

The underside of the leaves.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: