green, white, yellow
April - September
4.0 - 6.0
A rounded shrub or small tree with alternate, 1-3 dm long, compound leaves. Each leaf has 9-19 leaflets that have pointed tips. Trunk with round, pointed protuberances on trunk. It is sometimes confused with Aralia spinosa, also native to eastern North America but unlike Zanthoxylum, Aralia has large twice-compound leaves and very large leaf scars, so the trees are easily distinguished.
Seeds average approximately 17,900/lb.
The Acadian French name for prickly ash is "Frene piquant," or "stinging ash," referring to its numerous spines and its resemblance to the ash (Holmes 1990). It occurs throughout the southeastern United States.
Forested areas and fencerows of south Louisiana, and southeast Texas.
The common name "toothache tree" results from the numbing sensation in the mouth produced when the bark is chewed. Caution should be used when harvesting bark, as other trees with compound leaves are poisonous.