Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Pyracantha coccinea Roem.

Fully-hardy, dense, bushy shrub with lance-shaped leaves, to 4cm long, and corymbs of small, creamy white flowers in summer, followed by bright scarlet berries.  To 4m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Among the Hedge plants which demand the attention of the Horticulturist, are the Buckthorn (Rhamnus catharticus), which makes an excellent fence; the privet, long in use, and a beautiful and verdant inner shelter to the garden, but not a sufficient protection against cattle; and the Mespilus pyracantha, or Evergreen thorn, ornamented in its white blossoms and coral berries.’  [Horticultural Register and Gardener’s Magazine vol.1, p.144/1835].

Introduced to England in 1629.  [JD].  Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.110/1825.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.680/1843].  Probably introduced to assess its usefulness as a hedging species.  Reported as naturalised in South Australia but not in New South Wales.


Published Feb 05, 2010 - 03:05 PM | Last updated Aug 11, 2010 - 03:24 PM

Figured is a spiny shoot with elliptic leaves and bright red berries.  Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.110, 1825.

Pyracantha coccinea Roem. | Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.110/1825 | BHL

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Europe and Caucasus

  • Mespilus pyracantha L.
  • Crataegus pyracantha (L.) Medik. 
Common Name

Firethorn, Evergreen thorn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Mespilus pyracantha 

Confidence level high