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Pyracantha coccinea

Common Name(s):
Scarlet firethorn, Scarlet pyracantha
'Aurea', 'Lalandei', 'Thornless'

This drought tolerant shrub in the Roseaceae family makes an impentrable hedge, can be used for screening, to define property lines, or for security.  It works well in mass plantings and it effective on slopes for erosion control. It grows relatively rapidly and can be trained against a wall or espalier. It can become overgrown quite easily and will need to be regularly pruned.  It can be sheared, but severe pruning right after flowering will affect fruit set. The red berrie form from summer to fall and are relished by birds.   It is more cold-hardy than P. koidzumii but will still need protection from cold winds and winter frost.  This plant is moderately salt tolerant.

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves: Evergreen; Bloom: Spring/Summer; Fruit: Fall

Wildlife Value: Fruits are enjoyed by birds.  This shrub is particularly resistant to damage by deer.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Aphids, lacebug and scale can be a problem. Susceptible to scab, fireblight, and wilt. Thorns are challanging when pruning.  Plant away from high traffic areas or children and pets frequent.  Protect from cold winter weather.

8-20 ft.
Alternate, simple, lustrous dark green leaves; 1 to 2.5 in. long; slightly serrated
0.3 in. white flowers on 1 to 2 in. corymb in spring; 0.2 in. showy orange-red berries in fall that attract birds; persists into winter
Semi-evergreen to evergreen
Sun to partial shade; best in well-drained soil though it tolerates clay. Not winter hardy so plant in protected area.
Open, stiff, thorny, arching branches
8-20 ft.
cpp, salt tolerant, erosion, showy fruit, low maintenance, drought tolerant, birds, hedge, security, wildlife, espalier, thorns, evergreen, deer resistant, clay soil

NCCES plant id: 1735

Pyracantha coccinea Growth habit
Maggie, CC BY-NC-2.0
Pyracantha coccinea Fruit and leaf detail
Scott Zona, CC BY - 2.0
Pyracantha coccinea Leaves and fruit
Super_Fantastic, CC BY - 2.0
Pyracantha coccinea Flowers
Fabian Montojo, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0