Evergreen Shrubs (6-10 ft)

Landscape Significance

Pyracantha makes an excellent hedge in hot, dry areas. It also grows well in containers.

Berry-laden branches are used in cut arrangements and add interest and color to wreaths.

Birds like the plump, colorful berries.

This photo of P. koidzumii was taken on Gregg Dr., Charleston, SC. 

Native to southern Europe. Firethorn is a large, evergreen shrub with a spectacular fall and winter display of scarlet fruits. Sharp thorns hide among the dark, glossy green leaves. Clusters of small white flowers appear in spring. These persist through winter and into early spring depending on climate and appetite of the local bird population.

Berries are most plentiful when grown in full sun. The color of both leaves and berries tends to be darker in cooler climates. Firethorn is very fast growing to 10 to 15 feet and spreads 10 feet. 

Two serious problems on pyracantha are fire blight and scab. To minimize problems, choose disease-resistant selections. Insect pests include aphids, scales, spidermites and lace bugs.

Identifying characteristics

All species have glossy green narrow-elliptical leaves which are ½ to 1 inch wide and 1 to 4 inches long. Leaf margins are shallowly scalloped. It bears flowers and fruit on spurs along the wood of last year's growth.

More information about pyracantha is available at the Clemson Home & Garden Information Center: Clemson HGIC - Pyracantha


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