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Zanthoxylum fagara (L.) Sarg.
Lime prickly ash, Colima
USDA Symbol: ZAFA
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Evergreen shrub or small tree with spreading rounded crown, often with a leaning trunk; aromatic, spiny, with tiny gland-dots on foliage, flowers, and fruit.
The powdered bark and leaves have a sharp taste and have been used also as a spice. The crushed foliage has an odor of limes, as the common names suggest.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Flower:
Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun
FL , TX Native Distribution:
Central and S. Florida, Florida Keys, and S. Texas; also N. Mexico; to 500 (152 m). Native Habitat:
Chaparral & brush country USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Aromatic, Fruits ornamental Use Wildlife:
Browse, Nectar-insects, Cover, Nesting site, Fruit-birds Use Food:
is edible, with a lemon zest taste that first tingles, then numbs in the mouth, like the Chinese culinary ingredient, Szechuan pepper, also a Zanthoxylum
species. Dried, ground leaves are sometimes used as a spice and have a similar taste and effect. Use Medicinal:
All visible plant parts have the ability to numb the mouth in high amounts, and in small amounts cause a refreshing tingling, which has led to this Zanthoxylum
species being a common ingredient in natural toothpastes and tooth powders, usually identified as Prickly Ash. It is also used to numb mouth pain, with the bark
being most commonly employed. Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1060
Collected 2011-07-10 in Cameron County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
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Record Modified: 2010-04-19
Research By: TWC Staff