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There are plants that many of us have before their eyes but their history is not known and their characteristics are not even known, apart from the aesthetic ones that we can capture with our eyes. One of them is the Phyrcantha, a plant of Asian origin but which for centuries has also grown in the Mediterranean basin as well as in China and near the Himalayas. Its name derives from the Greek Pyra meaning fire and akanta thorn, it is one "Thorn of fire" and then we will understand why as we will also learn to recognize the different varieties. It is important because the berries change and the berries are the reason why this plant began to be cultivated in 1500, understanding that the fruits, cooked, could be an excellent ingredient for jams and sauces.
There are several variety of Pyracantha, today we will see the main ones, but first it is necessary to tell about some aspects common to all and which characterize this evergreen shrub, also called agazzino, able to reach up to 3 meters in height, at least in its original habitat.
For example, if the Red Column produces red berries, while the Soleil d'Or produces yellow berries, all the varieties have an erect posture with thin stems and dark brown that intertwine irregularly giving shape to one rounded foliage. The thorns, however, are quite sharp, be careful. This is, however, the reason why Pyracantha is often used to build hedges that are difficult to penetrate but aesthetically pleasing.
The leaves are small and dark green, oval in shape, while i flowers when they appear, in spring, they have a starry shape and are white, so fragrant that they are much loved by both man and pollinating insects. THE fruits, precious, they arrive later, in autumn, already in clusters, but they are round and edible.
The main species of Pyracantha are the following, in alphabetical order
- Angustifolia: 3-4 m high with orange berries.
- Atalantioides: maximum 6 m high, not very thorny and with scarlet red berries.
- Coccinea: maximum 3 m high with bright red berries.
- Crenatoserrata: 6 m high, with very persistent white flowers and bright red berries.
- Crenulata: 3 m high, with yellow, orange or red berries. It grows very slowly and only in mild climates.
- Rogesiana: maximum 3 m high, with deep yellow berries, very thorny and compact.
Pyracantha: how to grow it
It is not difficult to cultivate this type of plants, given this it is important to follow some indications to put it in the conditions to bloom and produce abundant berries. First of all we have to plant it in sunny place because it likes the sun even if it does not suffer from the cold at all. In semi-shade they adapt but we must ensure them a few hours of full light so as not to see them grow too slowly and without many flowers.
When we put it on the ground we check well that the soil is well drained because water stagnation can be dangerous, for the rest we are faced with a plant that is rustic so it tends to adapt to all types of soils, as long as are not overly compact.
How much to water the Pyracantha
Even long periods of drought are well tolerated by this plant for hedges which very often as an adult gets along very well withrain water without our intervention. In its periods of greatest development and also during the spring it is better to water it, however, to promote rooting and growth but always checking that the soil is dry, to avoid possible stagnation of water that could affect its health. If we have one Pyracantha in pot or in bonsai format the discourse changes and we must commit ourselves to water regularly
In order not to interrupt, on the contrary, to favor the development of our plant it is good to intervene with pruning in spring removing any fruit still present and adjusting the stems that mess up the foliage. If the growth rate is fast, we are often forced to intervene even in summer to shape and limit its height and width. If one day we wanted to multiply the Phycantha, we can choose between different techniques including that of woody cuttings, in spring or autumn, or that by seed, at the end of winter.
Being rustic and resistant, this plant is not particularly prone to pest attacks or strong diseases but we must still remain alert because aphids and cochineal they can create problems for you and if you do not intervene promptly with the use of specific insecticide products, you also risk the death of the plant. If we feel more confident, we can also step in with a preventive treatment at the end of winter with the use of targeted insecticide products that help avoid the onset of diseases.
Pyracantha: price and where to buy it
It is not complex to obtain some seeds of Agazzino to start growing it in our garden, and compose a beautiful bush or a separation hedge. On Amazon for a few euros packages of 50 seeds are on sale and then just follow our instructions.
To create an enviable hedge we can also experiment with some interesting combinations such as the one with the Clematis, climbing plants with beautiful flowering, or with the Berberis, thus creating very interesting chromatic contrasts. At the foot of these bushes we can also plant other small ones so as not to leave the sense of emptiness, for example ofErika.
You may also be interested in our related article dedicated to hedge plants