Fruits of the fire mandrel.

The Pyracantha species ( Pyracantha ) is a genus of evergreen shrubs of the rose family ( Rosaceae ), and is the subtribes of pome fruit crops ( Pyrinae ).


Pyracantha species grow as large, evergreen shrubs or small trees usually with very thorny twigs, usually reach the plant height of about 4-6 meters. The arranged alternate or in clusters, short -stalked to sessile leaves are simple. The leaf edges are smooth to cut. There are Stipules present.

In spring or early summer, the schirmtraubigen inflorescences appear. The hermaphroditic, flowers are radial symmetry fünfzählig. The five sepals are usually green. The five short spiked petals are white. There are five to 15 stamens present with yellow anthers. The five carpels are semi- inferior. The five pens are free.

As a genus within the Pyrinae the fruits look like small apples. The ripening in the autumn fruits are yellow, red or orange colored.

The species of the genus Pyracantha originally come from South Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia before. The genus is closely related to Cotoneaster, but differs from it by thorny branches while Cotoneaster has no thorns.


The evergreen Pyracantha is very much planted for its showy flowers and berries in gardens as an ornamental plant and its thorny branches used because for hedges. He will, though not indigenous, used in Central Europe as a bird protection because its dense growth and thorny branches protect bird nests well before cats, martens and other small predators and its be long eaten on the bush remaining berries in the winter of birds like. He is quite undemanding and also tolerates drought, which is why it is often used in public parks.

The fruits of the European fire mandrel are not edible for humans, they are considered to be slightly toxic. It contains small amounts of cyanogenic glycosides, eating the fruit can cause stomach or intestinal disorders. Poisoning, mostly mild in nature, occur mainly in young children. The leaves of the European fire mandrel contain, among other things, rutin and chlorogenic acid.

Types (selection) and distribution

In the genus Pyracantha, there are seven to ten species that are spread from South Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. Of the seven species occurring in China are five endemic.

  • Pyracantha angustifolia ( Franchet ) CKSchneider: China.
  • Pyracantha atalantoides ( Hance ) Stapf: China.
  • Mediterranean Firethorn ( Pyracantha coccinea)
  • Pyracantha crenulata ( D.Don ) M.Roemer: Himalayas.
  • Pyracantha densiflora T.T.Yu: China
  • Pyracantha fortuneana ( Maximowicz ) HLLi: China ( syn. Photinia fortuneana Maximowicz, P. crenatoserrata Hance, pyracantha crenatoserrata ( Hance ) Rehder, P. crenulata var yunnanensis M.Vilmorin ex Mottet, P. gibbsii var yunnanensis (M. Vilmorin ex Mottet ) A.Osborn, P. yunnanensis ( M.Vilmorin ex Mottet ) Chittenden )
  • Pyracantha inermis Vidal: China
  • Pyracantha koidzumii ( Hayata ) Rehder: Taiwan.
  • Pyracantha rogersiana: China.

The planted in gardens shapes were taken as varieties and hybrids of Pyracantha coccinea. There are Firethorn places with yellow, orange and red berries:

  • 'Golden Charmer ': yellow fruits.
  • ' Soleil d' Or': Orange fruit.
  • 'Red Column': Red Fruits
  • ' Mohave ': Orange fruit.
  • ' Coral ': Red fruits.
  • 'Bad Zwischenahn ': Red fruits.
  • 'Orange Glow': Orange fruit.


  • Description in the Flora of China. (English)