When a plant is put on sale, it needs to tick a lot of boxes. In fact, more boxes than you could ever imagine. The plant can’t just be a good garden plant. It also needs to be good in production and look good on the garden centre bench, where the competition can be fierce! There’s more than meets the eye, for sure.
Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ is an incredible step-forward for Pyracantha, which has managed to break out of the shackles of disease. It’s also safer, offers strong garden presence, bright colours and an amazing ability to be used as a houseplant! Blimey!
How to grow Pyracantha ‘Red Star’:
Flowering time: June to July
How was Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ created?
Nurseryman Henk van der Sar is an active breeder of the Pyracantha family. Although overlooked in breeding programmes for many years, Pyracantha are the staple ingredient of most European gardens, where they are the perfect wall shrub. Often fashioned around front doors, they need to give a good show in every season.
They can be vicious though. So Henk’s breeding set out to select thornless varieties. Quite an unusual criteria to select for, Henk could do most of the assessment by eye, thankfully! In tandem, Henk also selected for strong bacteria resistance. Pyracantha have been dogged by fireblight for many years, and it even drove certain countries to ban their import.
For Henk to create this utopia of a Pyracantha, it took a neat 10 years.
What’s different about this plant?
Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ is rather striking, to say the least. The vibrant berries persist on the plants for months on end, certainly past the Christmas Day milestone! But, don’t dismiss the flowers, they’re frothy and fragrant, attracting bees and butterflies in their droves. The foliage is also green and glossy, giving great garden presence.
Where can you plant Pyracantha ‘Red Star’?
Happy trained against a wall, free-standing in the border, or as a patio pot specimen. It’s most at home in light shade, so can be the excellent solution for north-facing walls and such! Why not try it as a cool-room houseplant too?? That will certainly get the dinner party conversation going!
Where can you buy Pyracantha ‘Red Star’ plants?
Plants will soon be available in garden centres across Europe.
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Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.