PYRACANTHA or FIRETHORN

FLOWERING SHRUB. Generally grown against a wall, in espalier fashion, eventually spreading 15 ft. each way and upward. Its beauty lies in its profusion of red, yellow or orange berries in autumn and it has long, sharp thorns, hence its popular name, fire thorn. Grows in any soil. In the open no pruning is needed, but when grown against a wall this shrub can be cut back in early spring if occupying too much space. Note that pyracanthas succeed on north walls and are in fact often happier there than on a hot, south wall as they prefer cool conditions at the roots. Strongly recommended for growing on either side of a door or porch. Pot-grown plants usually move best. Cuttings of new shoots (preferably from the side growths) are taken in July and rooted in pots of sandy soil in a cold frame. Pyracanthas are all evergreen. The most popular species is coccinea lalandii with large orange-red berries; crenulata superba has cherry-red berries, those of crenulata jlava (Rogersiana Jlava) are bright yellow and borne on arching branches. Waterer’s Orange is a real orange-yellow and especially fine. The young shoots and leaves are tinted bronze and the berries bright red. Note that some confusion exists over the correct naming of pyracantha species, but under whatever names they are offered all are first-rate shrubs for walls and present no cultural difficulties.

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