It grows in a large half-barrel in our front garden. Firethorns are closely related to Cotoneaster but have many very sharp thorns. Birds and insects are attracted to the close masses of white flowers in Spring. In Autumn the berries, which are red, yellow or orange, depending on the specimen plant, attract birds, particularly blackbirds which gorge themselves on them. I have just discovered that the berries can be used to make jam though the cooked fruits are apparently rather bitter. I haven't decided yet whether I shall try some - my inclination is to leave them for the birds!
The shrub can grow to 6m in height and its thorns become larger with age and more difficult to avoid so it is often used as an obstacle to easy house-breaking! It is exceptionally easy to propagate from cuttings.
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