Pyracantha bush – No seedlings

Q: I observe a pyracantha bush that is loaded with fruit every year but I never see any seedlings. What gives?

A: Pyracantha originated in Asia and is appreciated for the huge number of bright red berries it produces. Cedar waxwings eat and “distribute” the seed each winter. So why don’t we see more of them in untended areas, like we do Chinese privet?One factor is that the red skin around the hard seed inhibits germination. In addition, the seed must be scarified (scratched) before it can absorb enough moisture to germinate. Those two elements seem to keep the gangly bush in check. The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council lists the plant as “naturalized but generally does not pose a problem in Georgia natural areas”. Thank goodness for that!

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