Back to Biodiversity Explorer main pageGo to Iziko Museums of Cape Town home pageAbout Biodiversity Explorer - history, goals, etc.Send us your questions about southern African biodiversityPeople who have contributed content and images.Search Biodiversity Explorer

Genus: Pyracantha

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Rosales > Family: Rosaceae

Pyracantha angustifolia in Cape Town garden.

About nine species, native to SE Europe, Caucasus, NW Iran and China. Grown in gardens for their attractive, non-edible berries. Three species have become naturalised in southern Africa and a further four species are cultivated in the region.

Cotoneaster berries look similar but the leaves of Cotoneaster are broader.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI) and Flora of Zimbabwe.

Pyracantha angustifolia (Yellow fire-thorn, Geelbranddoring)

Native to western China. A declared Category 3 invader plants in South Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Pyracantha coccinea (Red fire-thorn)

Native from SE Europe to the Caucasus.


Pyracantha crenulata (Himalayan fire-thorn, Rooivuurdoring)

Native from India to China. A declared Category 3 invader plants in South Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Pyracantha atalantoides

Native to western China.


Pyracantha crenatoserrata

Native to northwest China.


Pyracantha koidzumii

Native to Taiwan.


Pyracantha rogersiana

Native to western China.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.


Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search