E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Pyracantha coccinea M. Roem.
scarlet firethorn
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gerry & Wendy Ansell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70901)

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Distribution of Pyracantha coccinea
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Species Information

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Medium to tall shrub, 1.5-6 m tall; stems much-branched, with leafy thorns, the young growth grey-hairy.
Alternate, evergreen, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 2-5 cm long, finely blunt-toothed, smooth or sometimes sparsely hairy beneath when young.
Inflorescence a small cluster, at the end of a lateral branchlet, of several to many, hairy-stalked flowers; corollas white, saucer-shaped, 7-8 mm across, the petals 5; calyces 5-lobed; ovaries inferior.
Berry-like pomes (like miniature apples), nearly globe-shaped, bright orange-red, 5-6 mm wide; stones (nutlets) 5.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Orange
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist waste places, fields and forest edges in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC (Vancouver Island); introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cotoneaster pyracantha (L.) Spach

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References