I'm confused by Pyracantha... what is it? I see so many that look like vines. I've seen some that look like trees, and some that look like shrubs. My mom says I HAVE TO have one... but I'm just wondering where I would place it?
Used to be that many highway bridge overpasses were planted with pyracantha and in the past 20 years they were torn out and replaced with evergreen and ornamental grasses.
Seems I recall pyracantha being targeted as a carrier of some plant virus but I may be in error.
I used to have some but they died out back in the '90s.
They form tall canes, not really vines and they need at least twice a year pruning which isn't fun because of their thorns (firethorn is the common name). Stabbed with one of those, the injury both hurts and itches.
Make your own decisions what you need in your landscape.
I really like pyracantha for its long lasting show of colorful berries. It can be usefully trained to a variety of forms, depending on its location in the landscape.
Yes, it is often used as a 'feature', and will require some simple pruning once or twice a year. Gloves should be used to protect from the thorns, which can cause a reaction to sensitive individuals.
More importantly, do careful research on the status of pyracantha in your state. Some of the species are listed as invasive in some locations; you don't want to contribute to an ecological problem.
I have one that is against the fence and it has gotten very big, like a spreading tree, but no too tall, about 10 ft. I never prune it unless a limb dies, but it has plenty of room to grow. It is very pretty when it has white flowers, then again when the bright orange berries show.