Scientific Name: Pyracantha coccinea M. Roem.
Synonym: Cotoneaster pyracantha
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Recommended Temperature Zone:|
Heat Tolerance: Avoid reflected heat from a south or west wall in Phoenix
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Growth Habits: Evergreen shrub or vine, up to 10 feet tall (3 m); thorny stems; finely toothed leaves, up to 1.6 inches long (4 cm)
Watering Needs: Moderate water
Propagation: Seeds, semi hardwood cuttings in summer to late summer.
Firethorns are very attractive bushes that can be trimmed in basically any shape you want. They are attractive as barriers or espaliered against a wall. The bushes are covered of red berries in the fall. The berries are not poisonous (or at least I wasn't getting sick eating them regularly as a kid).
As many bushes from the rose family, Fire thorns are sensitive to fire blight. Shoots die, leaves wither. Cut below the infected branch, and disinfect your tools in chlorine. The disease can kill the bush fairly rapidly.
The seeds of the firethorn can be collected in summer. Stratify them for 3 months at 40°F (4°C). It is possible to graft Pyracantha on Cotoneaster.