Zanthoxylum americanum Rutaceae
Prickly Ash, Northern Prickly Ash, Toothache Tree zan-tho-ZI-lum a-mer-i-KA-num
- Deciduous shrub or small tree, 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) tall, reproduces from root shoots and can form thickets. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound (odd), 5-11 leaflets on a prickly central stalk 10-20 cm long, ovate to elliptic, two opposite spines on the stem at or below the point of petiole attachment. Flowers small, greenish, in small axillary clusters, appear before the leaves; dioecious - male and female flowers on separate trees. Fruit small, 4-5 mm across, bright red, containing 1-2 shiny black seeds.
- Sun or shade, shade-tolerant. Effective as a barrier plant.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native from Quebec to South
Dakota and south to Oklahoma and north to Virginia. A related species, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis,
Hercules' Club or Southern Prickly Ash, is native to Virginia and along the coast to northern Florda and west to
Texas and Oklahoma.
- americanum: of America.
- Toothache Tree: oil from bark and fruit once used as a remedy for toothaches, rheumatism and other