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Scarlet Firethorn

The scarlet firethorn is a thorny shrub and not a climbing plant, but is nevertheless suitable for facade greening. It delights with its white flowers and abundance of colourful berries, and is also wintergreen. It can be planted as a bush to protect the base of a facade against graffiti or it can be trained into a desired shape with a trellis.

Pyracantha coccinea: scarlet firethorn, Eqyptian thorn, fire bush

Firethorn "Orange Glow" with berry jewels
Firethorn "Orange Glow" with berry jewels

To Thrive...

Scarlet firethorn does best in a sunny (full sun) location, or at least a position where it gets full daylight. It can live in full or semi-shade but then produces fewer or hardly any flowers and fruit. Needs nutrient-rich and moist soils with good water retention. Distance between two plants: 2.5 - 4 metres.

Two cultivars are not available at the moment.

  •  "Orange Glow" 
  • "Red Column" 

Characteristics and Pruning

This is a rambler native to China, the Himalayas, and southeastern Europe. Seldom growing higher than 4 metres, its hanging habit can be encouraged where desired, though it is often grown as a formed / shaped tree. Thorny and evergreen, it brings a profusion of small white flowers in June, and (depending on the cultivar) masses of yellow, orange, or red berries lasting into winter~ also a happy feast for birds. Pruning in winter will promote branching. Firethorn is subject to fireblight. The  seeds are slightly poisonous.

Climbing Aids for the Facade

Firethorn does best on rods, lattice trellises, or wire rope trellises with a large grid spacing to hold the trunk and bind shoots. Refer to the table of suitable trellis designs at the bottom of the page; choose one from our medium or easy range.

Suitable wire rope trellises?

Click on the picture to see the table of all compatible trellis designs.

Facade Greening with Scarlet Firethorn

While firethorn is a shrub and is thus prone to bushing out when left to its own devices, it can easily be trained on a facade, as you can see here...

A house greening with newly-planted scarlet firethorn
Firethorn, attached at points as per trellis system 1010, an ivy to the right
Small firethorn on a facade
Firethorn pyracantha at a house entrance
Two firethorn bushes
Firethorn as a facade plant
A very "tidy" building greening with firethorn
Small wall trellis with a flowering firethorn
Flowering firethorn
Pyracantha as a small climbing shrub
Dense firethorn bush growing away from the wall
irethorn bushes as graffiti protection on a building base.
Firethorn can also serve as protection against graffiti.
Firethorn next to a house door
Two small climbing shrubs (pyracantha) on a facade
Small house greened with firethorn
Small wall greened with pyracantha

Botanical Features

Scarlet firethorn through the seasons...

Scarlet firethorn flowers
Firethorn, probably "Orange Glow," over a garage entryway
Berry abundance!
Firethorn with fruit, probably the cultivar "Red Column"
Scarlet firethorn with coloured leaves after a long winter

Wire Rope Trellises for Firethorn

Please click on the graphics for details!

 = suitable             = sometimes  suitable      = not suitable