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Common name: Firethorn; Orange firethorn
Botanical name: Pyracantha angustifolia
Management programme: Advisory

Native of China. Probably brought to New Zealand as an ornamental plant. Naturalised in New Zealand in 1958.

Why is it a pest?

  • Forms dense thickets and produces many well dispersed, moderately long-lived seeds.
  • Tolerates hot to cold temperatures, wind, salt, damage, poor soils, damp to dry conditions and light shade.

Where is it found?

Disturbed forest and shrubland, short tussockland, bare land, and occasionally coastal sites.

What does it look like?

  • An evergreen, spiny, spreading shrub that can grow more than 3m tall with dense, rigid, spreading stems that are grey and hairy when young, and shiny reddish brown when older, and usually tipped with a spine.
  • Dark green oval to egg-shaped leaves are hairless above and hairy below and on hairy stalks.
  • Many small white flowers in dense clusters appear from (December to January) followed by glossy orange berries (April to August).

What are the rules?


Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control advisory species if required.

How do you get rid of it?

  1. Dig out small plants (all year round). Mulch.
  2. Stump swab (all year round).
  3. Stem injection (all year round).
  4. Spray (summer - autumn).

Repeat treatments may be required for several years.


CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and directions for the purchase, use and storage of the product, are followed and adhered to.

Read more on pest control advice, information and regulations.