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Prickly Ash, Tickle-tongue, Toothache Tree, Xanthozylum
Zanthoxylum hirsutum


Prickly ash is common in the forested areas of East and Southeast Texas, occurring less so through the Edwards Plateau to North Central Texas and Southern Oklahoma. It usually grows in calcareous soils, but is also frequent in the sandy soils of the Rio Grande Plains. It is a rounded shrub or tree whose branchlets, often the foliage and even the trunk are armed with curved prickles. Its leaves are very aromatic. Chewing the bark or leaves reportedly helps to numb toothache pain, hence the common name toothache tree. Zanthoxylum, which means yellow wood, is sometimes incorrectly spelled Xanthoxylum.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub
large shrub
small tree

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: yellowish green

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: reddish-brown capsule

Height: 5 to 15 feet

Width: 2 to 10 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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