Pyracantha angustifolia 'Gnome'

Common Name: firethorn 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest, Thorns
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

'Gnome' has better cold hardiness than most pyracanthas.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pyracantha angustifolia, commonly called narrowleaf firethorn, slender firethorn and woolly firethorn, is grown for its dense habit, evergreen foliage and spectacular display of orange berries in fall and winter. It features narrow, elliptic to lanceolate, glossy green leaves (to 2.5" long) which are evergreen in warm winter climates but semi-evergreen to deciduous in the St. Louis area. Needle-like spines to 3/4" long. Profuse clusters of tiny white flowers appear in spring on spurs along the prior year's wood. Flowers are unpleasantly aromatic. Flowers give way to pea-sized, brilliant orange fruits which ripen in September and persist well into winter.

Genus name comes from the Greek pyr meaning fire and akantha meaning a thorn in reference to the thorny branches and the showy crimson fruit.

Specific epithet means having narrow leaves.

'Gnome' is a compact cultivar that grows 6-8' tall and is noted for its winter hardiness.


Potential diseases include scab, fireblight, leaf blight and root rot. Less serious possible insect problems include aphids and scale.

In some areas this cultivar is particularly susceptible to scab.


Excellent specimen or grouping. Shrub borders or foundations. Good impenetrable hedgerow or informal hedge. May be grown as a sheared hedge, but severe pruning performed after flowering will adversely affect fruit production. Espaliers.