Nandina domestica

Otherwise known as the sacred or heavenly bamboo, it is in fact a member of the same family as Berbers and Mahonia. It is the eastern equivalent of holly, being widespread in India, Japan and China. In Japan (where it is often grown in a pot outside the front door), it is said that if you have a nightmare you should go and tell your nandina, so as to dispel any harm that might otherwise follow. A bit like our European equivalent of telling the bees (if you’re a beekeeper) about the important events in your life. Who knows where these customs...

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