Zanthoxylum hirsutum Buckley
Texas Hercules' Club, Texas Prickly Ash, Limetone Prickly Ash, Toothache Tree, Tickle-tongue, Tingle-tongue
Rutaceae (Rue Family)
Synonym(s): Zanthoxylum clava-herculis var. fruticosum
USDA Symbol: ZAHI2
A prickly shrub, sometimes a small tree. Crushed leaves have an odor suggestive of orange peel. Found in open areas and at the edges of woodlands. Branches with prickles resembling those of a rosebush. Leaves with paired glossy leaflets along an axis bearing small prickles. Leaflets up to 1 1/2 inches long, the margins with glands in the notches between the rounded teeth. Flowers small, greenish, in clusters at the ends of branchlets. Fruit spherical, 1/4 inch in diameter, reddish brown when ripe.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers in 2 inch clusters.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: OK , TX
Native Habitat: Chaparral & brush country
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type, Limestone-based, Calcareous.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Fall conspicuous, Aromatic, Shortgrass meadow
Use Wildlife: Fruit-birds.
Use Food: Fruit edible, with a lemon zest taste that first tingles, then numbs in the mouth, similar to the Szechuan peppers used in Chinese cuisine. Szechuan peppers are also from a Zanthoxylum species. The leaves have a similar but less intense taste and effect.
Use Medicinal: Bark, leaves, and fruit all numb the mouth and have been used to treat mouth pain, including toothache, hence its common name, Toothache Tree.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Giant swallowtail butterfly.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
Giant Swallowtail |
Learn more at BAMONA
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Cuttings
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Edible plants native to Austin, TX
August 05, 2009
Hello, I am a chef from Buenos Aires Argentina visiting Austin, Texas and would like to learn about native, edible plants in the region. Please let me know if there are any native, edible plants...
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge - Wimberley, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0753 Collected Apr 10, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-755 Collected 2006-07-19 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Zanthoxylum hirsutum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Zanthoxylum hirsutum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Zanthoxylum hirsutum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-16
Research By: TWC Staff