Plant of the Month: Firethorn Pyracantha (Pyracantha coccinea)

Pyracantha coccinea, Firethorn in bloom 1280x960Happy November! This month’s featured plant is the Firethorn Pyracantha, a large, flowering shrub that is a member of the genus Pyracantha. Like all members of the genus, has thorns and serrated leaf margin. In addition to these characteristics, it sports white flowers and distinctive red berries. Also known as the Scarlet Firethorn, the plant is a native of the areas between Northeastern Spain and Northern Iran yet grows very well here in southern Arizona due to its hardiness, love of full sun, and tolerance for drought conditions.

The Firethorn Pyracantha grows to about 8-10 feet high, making it a great plant for filling space in a large yard. In addition, Firethorn Pyracantha makes a great “theft-deterrent” plant due to its thorny nature- simply place it under a window and a potential thief will most definitely think twice before trying to climb in.

Pyracantha coccinea berries, Firethorne, Scarlet Firethorne (1)The most striking feature of this plant is the brilliantly colored berries, and although they are mildly poisonous when eaten raw, they can be made into jellies or glazes after being crushed, washed, and cooked. The berries also attract lots of birds and animals, and it’s reported that they have a mildly intoxicating effect on the birds that eat them!

If this plant interests you, please call Horticulture Unlimited for more information on installing it in your landscape design. Horticulture Unlimited is an expert landscaping company in Tucson, Arizona.We specialize in landscape design, landscape maintenance, erosion control, weed control, tree services, irrigation systems and troubleshooting, and more. If you want to know more about our plants of the month for November, give us a call at (520) 321-4678 or contact us on the web to find out more about how we can beautify your home or business.


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*Our plant guide provides informational resources regarding plants that we commonly use. HORTICULTURE UNLIMITED IS NOT A NURSERY OR SUPPLIER. We obtain necessary materials for installation purposes only, and recommend consulting a nursery or supplier for direct purchasing needs.
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