02 January 2011

Pyracantha: an adventure in impaling

Greek (pyr), fire + (akantha), thorn

Pyracantha (pĭr'əkăn'thə)

God's Barbed Wire

The Eurasian evergreen’s primary claim
to fame comes from its glorious ‘berries’

Family: Rosaceae

Leaves: oval, dark green, shiny, 1 to 1 1/2in long

Pyracantha spring flowers

Flowers: clusters of cream white flowers, 1/4in diameter

Bonsai in Japan

one of the best shrubs for wildlife

Fruits: The pomes are extremely bitter to human taste, but are consumed by a variety of birds that have quite a ‘pyracantha party’ until there are no fruit left. Flowers and fruits appear on year-old wood.

‘pyracantha party’

Hardiness: to 10°F Avoid freezing winds throughout the winter periods.
In cold climates Pyracantha would be a Cool House Bonsai

Soil: good drainage; tolerates alkaline soil

Pruning: can be pruned very hard and will adapt.... they make great topiaries, espaliers, and bonsai; it is easy to shape them as you wish. However pyracantha is thorny-son-of-a-gun and working with them is an adventure in impaling. After all they are calledfire thorn”!

one of the best shrubs for a wildlife garden


Pyracantha bonsai farm in Japan

Pyracantha Bonsai Care

Pyracantha jelly

Pyracantha wine has an unusual but not unpleasant taste.

Tenosynovitis caused by Pyracantha coccinea thorn injury of the hand


  1. Nice! Your post title made me laugh out loud. I bet the loggerhead shrike would enjoy this species.

  2. What an interesting bird! I'll have to look for them.

  3. Great photos ... especially the first one !
    C'mon sneak underneath for a close-up ;-)

  4. I absolutely love all of your photos in this blog post. I love the bonsai in Japan. :) Thanks for sharing!



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