Also known as:
Orange Firethorn

General description

Shrub to 4 m tall. Narrow oblong-shaped leaves up to 5 cm long, dark green and hairless above, woolly-hairy below, on hairy stalks. Leaves alternate on stem. Stems dense, rigid, spreading, spine-tipped; grey-tomentose when young, reddish-brown when older, shiny. Small white flowers in dense clusters (Dec- Jan). Abundant small (4-6 x 6-7 mm) bright orange berries (Apr-Aug).

Terrestrial. Disturbed forest and shrubland, short tussockland, bare land, occasionally coastal sites.

Birds, gravity, soil movement, and dumped vegetation.

A prolific seed producer, seeds dispersed by birds. Displaces native species in shrublands.

Site management

Plan to clear whole areas to minimise reseeding by birds. Replant bared areas with dense groundcover or shrubs to minimise seedling regrowth.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out small plants. Mulch.
2. Stump swab (5g metsulfuron/L). All year round.
3. Frilling (big stems only) “feather” bark (5g metsulfuron/L). All year round.
4. Spray (5g metsulfuron + 20 ml penetrant/10L) summer - autumn.

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Cotoneaster glaucophyllus, C. franchetii

Cotoneaster has oval leaves and red berries.

Search tags

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
firethorn - Main species image