En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Tuesday - August 26, 2008

From: Fairfield, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Eradicating non-native pyracantha bushes in California
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We removed several pyracantha bushes but they keep coming up in other parts of the garden. How do we kill the shoots? Thank you for any help

ANSWER:

Pyracantha coccinea, also called Scarlet Firethorn, is a native of Southern Europe to the Caucasus Mountains in western Asia. Since at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the use and protection of plants native to North America, we do not have this plant in our Native Plant Database. However, we can usually find some websites that will help.

In this case, we have had personal experience with Pyracantha. The common name Scarlet Firethorn is certainly appropriate. More than once, in trying to prune or shape or destroy the plants, we got stabbed with those ferocious thorns. Not only did they hurt like anything, but they appeared to have some sort of venom on their tips that really burned. And when it came time to take them out, that was a problem, too. In fact, years later, preparing a flower bed in the same area, we came across big roots from the pyracantha. Since it propagates by berries, and the berries are usually prolific, and birds like the berries and bring some more in to plant in your yard, the shoots do keep popping up. There really is no quick and easy solution. If you spray them with an herbicide, you risk harming other plants more valuable to you. The first order of business is to rake up and destroy any berries you find, before they can sprout or before a bird can plant them for you. Second, just keep pulling the sprouts out. Other people in your neighborhood probably have the pyracantha bushes, too, so you'll just have to be vigilant.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Native grasses for golf courses from Austin
October 06, 2013 - I may be working on two different golf courses and wanted to know if any native or hybrid native grasses would work for the fairways and rough areas? The rough areas are no problem as a number of ...
view the full question and answer

About African Violets
April 26, 2007 - I have an African Violet. i clipped a leaf off and rooted it and i have a baby pink-leafed African Violet now, not pink flowers, pink leaves. It struck me as odd. i never saw one like this before. i...
view the full question and answer

pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
March 05, 2012 - We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
view the full question and answer

Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
October 17, 2013 - I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.
view the full question and answer

a source for fruitless olive (non-native) trees
June 29, 2012 - I was given a "mexican olive" several years ago which is doing very well. This one is non-fruiting and I would like to have another that is non-fruiting but cannot find one. Cordia boissieri see...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center