Herb latin name: Pyracantha crenato-serrata

Synonyms: Photinia crenato-serrata, Pyracantha fortuneana, Pyracantha gibbsii yunnanensis, Pyracantha yunnanensis

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Medicinal use of Pyracantha crenato-serrata:

A decoction of the leaves and/or the fruit is used in the treatment of fevers. The fresh leaves are crushed and applied externally to boils and abscesses.

Description of the plant:


5 m
(16 feet)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Hillsides, roadsides and waste places. Thickets, streamsides and roadsides at elevations of 500 - 2800 metres.

Edible parts of Pyracantha crenato-serrata:

Fruit. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Remove all the fruit flesh since this can inhibit germination. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification, sow it as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of almost mature wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, mid-August in a cold frame. Pot up in October or the following spring.

Cultivation of Pyracantha crenato-serrata:

Hillsides, roadsides and waste places. Thickets, streamsides and roadsides at elevations of 500 - 2800 metres.

Known hazards of Pyracantha crenato-serrata:

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.