Pyracantha: October Garden Plant of the Month

Pyracantha (also known as firethorn) is a shrub with flaming berries in the autumn and green leaves in the winter and early spring. In May and June the plant blooms with a host of cream flowers, so that the shrub provides beauty in the garden all year round. Pyracantha likes to grow against a wall or frame, and is also suitable as a hedge plant.


Credit: Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Range
The Pyracantha range offers a rich palette of colour in the form of red, yellow and orange berries. The plant is offered in various forms: as a pyramid, as a plant tied to stakes, or growing against a frame. The most common cultivars are 'Soleil d'Or' (yellow), 'Red Column' (red), 'Orange Charmer' (vermilion), and 'Orange Glow' (orange).

Pyracantha trivia 

  • Pyracantha’s berries are not very popular with birds, which means they remain on the plant for a long time, well into winter. Only when the supply of food for birds really starts to run short will blackbirds and thrushes in particular eat the berries.
  • The sturdy thorns mean that pyracantha is not strokable, although small songbirds in particular like to hide their nest in the bush because the thorns protect them from cats. 
  • The thorns also provide natural protection against burglars and vandals. It’s not pleasant to clamber across this plant to reach a window or get over a fence. 

Origin 
Pyracantha is a member of the rose family, which explains the presence of thorns, and is a close relative of the thornless Cotoneaster. This garden plant grows wild from south-east Europe to south-east Asia, and has been cultivated since the 16th century. It’s widely used in gardens and parks as a colourful berry-bearing shrub because it lasts a very long time with comparatively little maintenance. 

Sales and display tips 
Enrich the display of the Pyracantha range with seasonal harvesting products such as crates of locally grown apples, pumpkins, squashes, and a selection of bird food and birdhouses. Because the plant in a pot does not always do justice to the effect it will have in a garden, inspirational image material as a backdrop will enhance its appeal. 

For more information:
Thejoyofplants.co.uk


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