pyracantha pĭr˝əkăn´thə [key] or firethorn, any hardwood evergreen shrub of the genus Pyracantha of the family Rosaceae ( rose family). Native from S Europe to W China, pyracanthas are now cultivated elsewhere (often as hedge plants or espaliered on walls) for their red fruits and spiny branches. P. coccinea, also called everlasting thorn, is the most popular it now grows wild in parts of North America. Pyracantha is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Rosaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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