Pyracantha Sunny Star

Are your plants doing enough to support local wildlife? Now, it’s not like they need to develop opposable thumbs and build birdhouses, but could your plant selection feed and house pollinators and other animals? If your garden isn’t already a hive of activity for wildlife, I’ve got the perfect plant to add to it.


How to grow Pyracantha Sunny Star

Flowering time: June

Location: Free standing in a pot or border, or grown against trellises and walls

Soil: Fertile, well-drained

Light: Sun or semi-shade

Water: Feed and water until fully established

Care: Prune freestanding plants in early spring. For trained plants, tie back main shoots and cut back.

Size: 3m height and spread


Pyracantha Sunny Star

What’s different about this plant?

Not only is this a wonderfully wildlife-friendly plant – pollinators enjoy its pollen-rich summer flowers, and birds snack on its yellow berries – it’s also less prickly than other varieties.

If you’ve ever been tempted to prune a Pyracantha without gloves, thinking, ‘oh, it can’t be that prickly’, I bet you’re kicking yourself just a little bit. Maybe you’ve even got the scars to prove how silly you were. Luckily, breeders have cottoned onto the fact that gardeners prefer to be able to touch their own plants without being ravaged by thorns, and have developed no-prick versions of our garden favourites, including the Pyracantha Star Series! That also means more safety for your pets and/or children.

On top of that, Prycantha Sunny Star is very disease resistant – some varieties are susceptible to Phytophthora ramorum (a plant pathogen) and fire blight, but not the Star series – and is hardy down to -30 degrees Celsius.

Pyracantha Sunny Star

How was Pyracantha Sunny Star created?

Henk and Bas van der Sar discovered this Pyracantha in October 2016 as a seedling. It was selected for its low thorn count, profuse flowers and fruits on 2nd-year-wood (this is normal for many Pyracantha, but still a good feature), healthy foliage, large amount of bright orange berries from summer into winter (until around Christmas), disease resistance and vigorous growth.

When it compares to other Pyracanthas, Sunny Star comes out on top!

Pyracantha Sunny Star

The breeder holding Pyracantha Star series

Where can you plant Pyracantha Sunny Star?

Sunny Star works by itself as a freestanding shrub in borders and pots, or it can be trained up a trellis or wall for a beautiful creeping appearance. It should be planted in fertile, well-draining but reliably moist soil, in sun or semi-shade in an area sheltered from cold winds.

Pyracantha Sunny Star

Where can you buy Pyracantha Sunny Star?

You can buy Pyracantha Sunny Star in the UK from Thompson & Morgan and Suttons, and from JardinPourVous in Europe. 

Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe.

See every Plant of the Month here.

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  • All my life my parents had one of these in our tiny back yard and we got Speckled Thrushes every year, which people were really surprised by as we live in the middle of a city. My Dad couldn’t cope with the maintenance anymore so he made two rows of shelves and big urns full of plants and flowers that the bees love!

    November 1, 2022

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