Prickly Ash is a neat tree during all four seasons, but it is admired most during the summer because you can see a ton of pollinators visiting the flowers, and for the stunning red berries.
Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)
How can you tell if a tree doesn't know something?
- It shrubs!
Did you know?
- Prickly Ash is commonly called “Toothache Tree” because Native Americans chewed the bark or fruits for relief from toothache pain because it would produce a numbing effect
- Native Americans would prepare a variety of medicinal remedies from the bark and roots for treatment of fever, coughs, and external wounds
- Recent scientific research has shown prickly ash extracts may have promise in formulating antifungal and anticancer drugs
- Despite the “Ash” in the name, Prickly Ash is not actually an ash tree—it is actually in the citrus family—not in the genus “Fraxinus” like White and Green Ash
- Prickly Ash
- Common Prickly Ash
- Northern Prickly Ash
- The flowers are a nectar and pollen source for a variety of bees, butterflies, and flies
- The leaves are eaten by Giant Swallowtail larvae
- The sap is food for several leafhoppers and treehopper species
- The fruit is eaten by birds and small mammals
- The thicket provides important cover for wildlife, including quail, rabbits, and much more
- 5-25' tall, with a crown width of 15-25'
- Full sun to partial shade
- Moist, well-drained soil
Select Identification Characteristics:
- Leaf Type: Compound
- Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
- Bud Arrangement: Alternate
- Terminal Bud: Single
- *Twigs: Very thorny