scarlet firethorn Rosaceae Pyracantha
coccinea M. Roem. symbol: PYCO2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, oblong to lanceolate, serrated margin, 1 to 2 inches long, evergreen, shiny, dark green above, paler and pubescent below.
Flower: Creamy white, 5 petals, 1/3 inch across in tight clusters several inches across, appearing in late spring to early summer..
Fruit: Small pome, 1/4 inch across, bright orange-red, occurring in tight clusters, very showy, ripens in late summer and persists through the winter.
Twig: Slender, initially pubescent, later glaborous, red-brown, numerous spines, small buds.
Bark: Smooth reddish brown with numerous lenticels.
Form: Upright, open shrub with stiff limbs and many thorns, can reach 15 feet tall.
Looks like: cotoneaster - Japanese holly
Additional Range Information: Pyracantha coccinea is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting scarlet firethorn.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson