Pyracantha coccinea

Photo: Ron Vanderhoff

Synonyms: Cotoneaster pyracantha (L.) Spach

Common names: scarlet firethorn, firethorn

Pyracantha coccinea (Scarlet firethorn) is an evergreen shrub with bright red berries (family Rosaceae). It is commonly found in disturbed sites, along roadsides, and in coastal scrub, prairie, and riparian areas. Pyracantha species, which have bright red berries and green foliage, are a common ornamental plant that have escaped cultivation. The fruits of Pyracantha are widely dispersed by birds, which may also nest in the bushes. However, successful new introductions are rare, especially in areas that do not provide the ideal cool, moist climate for Pyracantha.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Pyracantha coccinea Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Pyracantha coccinea_leaves and fruits_LuigiRignanse
    Pyracantha coccinea (scarlet firethorn) leaves and fruits. Photo: Luigi Rignanse
    Pyracantha coccinea_growth habit (cultivated)_LuigiRignanse
    Pyracantha coccinea (scarlet firethorn) growth habit (cultivated). Photo: Luigi Rignanse