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PYRACANTHA (RED ELF™)

Image of Pyracantha 'Monelf' (RED ELF™)

James Burghardt

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

PYRACANTHA 'Monelf'(RED ELF™)

Plant Common Name

Firethorn, Red Elf Firethorn

General Description

Brilliant fruit in fall and winter, handsome evergreen foliage, a compact habit, and good disease resistance make the firethorn hybrid Red Elf™ an excellent choice for smaller garden niches. The dwarf rounded spiny plants are adorned in late spring with clusters of muskily scented white flowers, which contrast strikingly with the small glossy dark green leaves. Green berries that resemble small apples follow the flowers, ripening red in fall and persisting into winter, much to the delight of hungry birds. This shrub is hardy only in areas with relatively mild winters.

Like most firethorns, Red Elf™ does best in well-drained soil in full sun, and tolerates a wide variety of soils and exposures once established. This cultivar is resistant to apple scab, a disease that often afflicts firethorns. Perfectly sized for mixed borders, foundation plantings and patios, it also works wonderfully in containers.

In some areas with mild climates, firethorns can escape gardens and become invasive weeds.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green, Bronze

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes