This photo shows part of a 100 meter long hedge of Firethorn, now in full fruit, planted along one edge of a small local public garden and arboretum... at the end of which is the redundant Chapel of All Saints dating from the 15th century. In the 1400s this garden used to be a cemetery, but it is now an equally restful place with a different use.
Pyracantha is a genus of thorny evergreen large shrubs in the family Rosaceae, with common names Firethorn or Pyracantha. They are native to an area extending from Southeast Europe east to Southeast Asia, resemble and are related to Cotoneaster, but have serrated leaf margins and numerous thorns (Cotoneaster is thornless).
Pyracantha coccinea is the European species of Firethorn that has been cultivated in gardens since the late 16th century. The plants can reach up to 6 m (20 ft) tall, and the seven species have white flowers with either red, orange, or yellow berries (more correctly ‘pomes’). The flowers are produced during late spring and early summer; the pomes develop from late summer, and mature in late autumn.
The fruit is bitter and astringent, making it inedible when raw, but they can be cooked to make jellies, jams, sauces and marmalade. The shrub's range is from southern Europe to western Asia and it has been introduced into North America and cultivated there as an ornamental plant since the 18th century.
Looking to plant this beautiful shrub in your garden? Everything you need to know is here... http://www.pyracantha.co.uk/