Pyracantha ‘Mohave’ or firethorn is a very tough and hardy shrub. It tolerates a wide range of demanding conditions, which includes both shaded and exposed positions. The dense thorny evergreen growth is ideal as an intruder-proof hedging or for training on walls to display the profuse and brightly colored berries. It also makes an attractive free-standing shrub, although growth is then often more compact and arching. ‘Mohave’ is a popular firethorn variety that is on the larger side and upright, with rich green leaves and masses of small bright, orange-red berries.
Pyracantha ‘Mohave,’ a United States National Arboretum Plant introduction, is described by the USNA as a plant with attitude. It combines beauty with swagger and bravado, this tough plant conceals its ‘thorny’ personality beneath a blanket of lovely white flowers in spring and enticing reddish orange fruits from mid-August to winter. This cultivar of firethorn has withstood the test of time since being introduced in 1970 and is an outstanding shrub for full sun and drought tolerance with resistance to scab and fireblight.
This Pyracantha is a disease resistant selection. It will even tolerate clay if the drainage is adequate. Once established it is drought tolerant, but appreciates occasional watering especially in sandy locations. It will respond to pruning and can be trained as an espalier, hedge, topiary, or grown as a specimen. Full sun for best fruiting although will do well in partial shade. Move as container plant in spring into well-drained soil with pH 5.5 to 7.5.
Covered in flowers in spring; berry-like fruit orange-red color ripening in September and persisting into winter.
Careful selection of cultivar may provide resistance to fireblight and scale which can be serious problems.
Use as informal hedge or barrier plant, good for espaliers on walls, trellises and such.
Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
Zones: 6 to 9
Height: 15 feet (ideal conditions)
Spread: 15 feet (ideal conditions)
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Flower Color: White
Foliage Color: Mid-green
Feature: Flowers, fruit, thorns, attractive to wildlife (bees, butterfly’s, birds)
Sun Exposure: Full sun, Partial shade, Shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy
Skill Level: Beginner
Soil pH Requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
Propagation Methods: From softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings, and hardwood cuttings
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