Pyracantha - Firethorn
Pyracantha - Firethorn

Pyracanthas, also commonly known as the Firethorn, is a genus comprised of seven species of shrubs and small trees native to southern Europe and Asia. Many people find them an attractive plant for gardens however, many also find their profusion of thorns a practical measure for home security.

Benefits of Using Thorny Plants for Security

Pyracanthas sprout thorns on their branches and twigs. Passing through a mass of firethorn is at least uncomfortable for would-be intruders and possibly may cause injury. This plant may be directed to grow along windows, making forced entry difficult. As shrubs, they also may grow low to the ground and thus increasing the difficulty for an intruder to pass low to the ground.

Aesthetics of Pyracanthas

Firethorns represent a favorite ornamental plant due to their colorful combination of white flowers; dark, serrated green leaves; and red, orange, or yellow berries. The fruit also attracts nesting birds, which enhances the aesthetic quality for some people. At full growth they reach as high as six meters high (about nineteen and a half feet) and spread to about three meters (ten feet) wide.

Pyracanthas Maintenance

They require full sun and well-drained soil and actually fare better with some neglect. You should be careful not to overwater this plant. If you wish to increase the mass of the plant, experts recommend planting additional cuttings. This plant also responds best to pruning done in the springtime, ideally after the first flowering. This species does not suffer from many different kinds of pest infestations; however, two typical parasites that feed on pyracanthas include Spring Tiphia and Lepidoptera.

Miscellaneous Firethorn Facts

Firethorn may be considered an invasive pest species in some areas. You should check your local zoning laws and landscape codes that they do not restrict the planting of Firethorn before deciding to plant in your garden. The fruit of Firethorn may be processed into jelly.