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Zanthoxylum americanum Mill.
Common pricklyash, Toothache tree, Prickly ash
USDA Symbol: ZAAM
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A 12-25 ft., many-branched, shrub that often forms dense thickets. Toothachetree or prickly ash is a citrus and all parts are pungent and aromatic. Inconspicuous flowers are followed by small red, turning black, fruits. Stems are armed with nodal pairs of thorns. Compound leaves, resembling ash foliage, are dark-green. Yellow autumn color.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
, WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
Extreme s.w. Que. to e. ND,
s. to GA, AL, OK
& e. KS Native Habitat:
Rocky hillsides; thickets in prairie ravines; roadsides
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Rocky, calcareous soils.
Conditions Comments: Pest free. Because of thorns and weedy habit, this is not a desireable landscape plant except for use as a barrier in poor soils.
PropagationDescription: Propagation by seed is possible.
Seed Collection: Capsules may be hand-picked from the shrub. The capsules open, discharging the seed after drying.
Seed Treatment: Seed exhibits a strong dormancy that can be broken with a two-hour H2SO4soak followed by cold-moist stratification for 120 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery
- Quakertown, PA
Record Last Modified: 2012-06-30
Research By: TWC Staff