Description from Flora of China
Shrubs, evergreen, without rhizomes. Leaves alternate, 2 or 3 × pinnately compound, estipulate; petioles and petiolules swollen at base; leaflets entire, venation pinnate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary panicles of dozens to hundreds of flowers. Flowers bisexual, 3-merous; bracteoles present. Sepals numerous, spirally arranged. Petals 6, larger than sepals, basally without nectaries. Anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits; pollen grains prolate, 3-polyporate, exine distinctly reticulate. Ovary ellipsoid; placentation submarginal; style short; stigma entire or crisped. Fruit berries, globose. Seeds 1-3; aril absent. 2n = 20.
Nandina is occasionally treated as a separate family, Nandinaceae (Takhtajan, Divers. Classific. Fl. Pl. 1997), or subfamily, Nandinoideae (Loconte in Kubitzki et al., Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 2: 147-151. 1993).
One species: E Asia.
(Authors: Ying Junsheng (应俊生 Ying Tsun-shen); David E. Boufford, Anthony R. Brach)