Ever wonder what terms are for the amazing fireworks effects that light the sky? Below are the terms and definitions used in the fireworks industry to describe the amazing bursts and effects given off by fireworks.


Essentially the same as a peony shell, but with fewer and larger stars. These stars travel a longer-than-usual distance from the shell break before bursting out to smaller crackling salutes. For instance, if a 3" peony shell is made with a star size designed for a 6" shell, it is then considered a dahlia. 


A spherical break of colored stars, similar to a peony, but with stars that leave a visible trail of sparks.


Comets are very bright rapid fire tails that can feature glitter, strobes, crackling or whistling effects. 



A shell containing several large stars that travel a short distance before breaking apart into smaller stars, creating a crisscrossing grid-like effect. Strictly speaking, a crossette star should split into 4 pieces which fly off symmetrically, making a cross. 



A spherical break of colored stars that burn without a tail effect. The peony is the most commonly seen shell type.


Similar to a chrysanthemum, but with long-burning silver or gold stars that produce a soft, dome-shaped weeping willow-like effect.


A large shell burst that includes bright colored stars along with a strobing or crackling center. 


Palm Tree

A shell containing a relatively few large comet stars arranged in such a way as to burst with large arms or tendrils, producing a palm tree-like effect. Proper palm shells feature a thick rising tail that displays as the shell ascends, thereby simulating the tree trunk to further enhance the "palm tree" effect. One might also see a burst of color inside the palm burst (given by a small insert shell) to simulate coconuts.


Bees/ Whirls

Inserts that propel themselves rapidly away from the shell burst, often looking like fish swimming away.