About 7 species of broad-leaved, evergreen, thorny shrubs. Leaves alternate, serrate to crenate to entire, unlobed. Flowers white, 0.5-1 cm, in clusters, petals circular and outspread, 20 stamens, yellow anthers. Fruit a small red or orange drupe. Native range from southeastern Europe to China.
Many Pyracantha cultivars are hybrids of two or more species.
Pyracantha: from the Greek pyr, fire, a reference to the red berries, and akanthos, thorn.