It has an erect posture, the thin dark brown stems tend to develop in a rather disorderly way, producing a thick roundish top; they are provided with long, sharp thorns.
The leaves of the warehouse are small, dark green, oval, shiny, slightly leathery; in spring it produces countless small star-shaped flowers, white in colour, perfumed, which attract pollinating insects.
In autumn the small round fruits ripen on the plant, grouped in bunches, orange in colour; the fruits of the firethorn are edible, and sometimes remain on the plant until the following spring.
These plants are often used to make impenetrable hedges, but are also very decorative as individual specimens. Many hybrids and cultivars can be found on the market, for example p. Navaho, which is medium to small in size and gives rise to fairly orderly, roundish shrubs.
The firethorn Red Column produces red berries, while P. Soleil d’Or produces yellow berries.
It is advisable to prune the shrubs in the spring, removing any fruit still present and adjusting the stems that protrude excessively from the canopy; in the summer it is often necessary to intervene on the plants used as hedges, shortening the green growths so as to keep the hedge tidy and with a precise trend. Pruning is necessary because this type of plant has a very fast growth that can give a disorderly appearance to the whole.
Origin of Pyracantha
The origin of Pyracantha can be traced back to some regions of Asia Minor, the Mediterranean basin, China and the Himalayas. The Greeks called it the “thorn of fire” and hence the origin of the name “Pyra” fire and “akanta” thorn.
The beginning of its cultivation dates back to 1500 when it was discovered that the berries, properly cooked, could be consumed in the form of jams and sauces. Other reports that in times of war the seeds of Pyracantha were used to make a kind of coffee.
In any case, in the bibliography there are discordant news about the poisonousness of Pyracantha: if in doubt, do not taste it! Today the Pyracantha is used only for ornamental purposes.
- Pyracantha and cotoneaster are two kinds of evergreen shrubs belonging to the family of rose bushes; both kinds are native to North America, Europe and Asia, with numbers of plants.
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- The piracanta is a garden shrub, about ten species are native to Europe and Asia, and in Italy can also be found in the wild, produces a dense shrub and not very compact.
The >>Stock should be placed in a sunny place; these plants are very rustic and do not fear the cold. They can also be placed in semi-shaded areas but to ensure proper development it is necessary that they can receive at least a few hours of light, otherwise they will have a lower growth and will be less lush.
These shrubs can easily withstand atmospheric pollution and salt; if planted in excessively shady places, they tend to produce few flowers.
The pyracantha bears without any problems even prolonged periods of drought; usually, the more adult specimens are satisfied with the water coming from the rainy periods, whilst, in order to favour the rooting of the recently placed plants, these ones are to be watered more frequently, keeping in mind, however, that the water is to be supplied when the soil is well dry.
It is necessary to avoid possible stagnation of water that could affect the health.
They are also cultivated in pots or as bonsai, in this case the watering must be regular.
In the spring it is advisable to bury at the foot of the shrub mature organic fertilizer, or a good dose of slow release granular fertilizer.
These plants are also satisfied with very dry soils with a low nutrient content, provided they are well-drained substrates. Being rustic plants they can adapt to different types of soil, the important thing is that they are not too compact, so as not to promote drainage, this is because the warehouse can withstand without problems prolonged periods without water but suffers in the presence of stagnant water that can lead to dangerous root rot.
Color of the berries
Yellow, orange or red
The multiplication of this type of shrub can be done with the technique of woody cuttings, in spring or autumn, or by seed at the end of winter.
The woody cuttings, of the length of about 15 cm, are to be placed in a compound of peat and sand in equal parts so as to favour their rooting.
Pruning this type of shrub is not necessary if you decide to let it grow naturally but at the end of spring and early summer you can prune the branches too thick and the hedges that need to be kept tidy.
Pests and Diseases
Pyracantha are rather rustic and resistant plants, but they are often affected by aphids and cochineal. When you notice the attack of these pests you need to intervene quickly with the use of specific insecticide products that help to effectively counteract the development of diseases that could even lead to the death of the plant.
It is also possible to intervene with a preventive treatment at the end of winter with the use of targeted insecticide products that help to avoid the onset of disease.
Six species of Pyracanta
Six of the most common Pyracantha species are mainly characterised by their different heights and berry colours. They are listed below in order of height:
1. Crenatoserrata Pyracantha It reaches a height of 6 m with white flowers and very persistent bright red berries.
2. Pyracantha atalantioides It can reach 6 m and is not very thorny. The berries are scarlet red.
3. Pyracantha angustifolia 3-4 m high with orange berries.
4. Pyracantha rogesiana It reaches a maximum height of 3 m with deep yellow berries. It is very thorny and compact. The most decorative variety is the semi-plenum.
5. Crenulated Pyracantha 3 m high and suitable to live in mild climates; the berries are yellow, orange or red, depending on the variety, it has a very slow growth.
6. Pyracantha coccinea It reaches a maximum height of 3 m with bright red berries.
The hedge of Pyracantha
Once the Pyracantha seedlings have been purchased, or they can be obtained by multiplication, they must be placed in the optimal position and in the portion of land where the hedge is to be made. The best exposure is in a sunny area in order to have a lush growth and abundant flowering followed by an exceptional production of berries.
The seedlings must be spaced at least 80 cm apart to allow optimal development in width. Once the plant has taken hold, the hedge can be shaped in early summer (jungles) or in autumn (the ideal month is October). Pruning allows both to contain our hedge in height and to make it thicker.
Arch or backrest
The Pyracantha is usually observed in gardens or parks in the form of hedges. An alternative and original idea could be to make arches and espaliers. In the first case, the Pyracantha should be grown with the help of a rigid support that traces the desired shape with particular attention to the space needed to pass, given the presence of thorns. If you want to embellish or hide a wall, the alternative is to grow the Pyracantha using a backrest as a support.
In the latter case you will get a beautiful wall in every season of the year.
If you want to embellish your Pyracantha hedge or back, you can use some species that create perfect matches. For example, Clematis, climbing plants with a nice flowering, are well suited.
You can also alternate Pyracantha plants with Myrtle or Berberis, thus creating very interesting colour contrasts. You can also place small bushes of wallpaper plants such as those of the genus Erica at the foot of your Pyracantha.
If you want to make a Pyracantha bonsai prefer the species angustifolia and coccinea as they are more easily cultivable and adapt to different portamenti (eg erect or prostrate. The Pyracantha bonsai should be placed in a bright place, even in full sun, throughout the year except in the warmer months when exposed to half shade.
Wetting should be regular while pruning is best done in spring or late summer. At the end of flowering and after pruning fertilize your bonsai. Repotting is recommended in spring, every year for young plants and every two years for adult plants.
Agazzino – Pyracantha: Topiary art
The Pyracantha, being evergreen and very dense, is a species that lends itself very well to the art of topiary or the art of pruning trees and shrubs in such a way as to give them a geometric shape for ornamental purposes.
Topiary art has very ancient origins, it was born in the gardens of Ancient Rome. In addition to geometric shapes can also be reproduced various subjects such as animals or objects. To obtain vegetable sculptures, if you want to try your hand at this art, use metal supports that will serve to “educate” the plant to reach the desired shape and intervening with scissors to eliminate excess parts.
Let’s not forget that plants educated according to topiary art need a lot of maintenance and dedication.
- Pyracantha coccinea is an evergreen shrub, which means that it does not lose all its leaves at the same time during the cold season.
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- The Pyracantha hedge is considered one of the most beautiful in the field of evergreens. This plant barrier is infact
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