Zanthoxylum americanum ‘ Northern Prickly Ash ‘ Prickly Ash ‘ Toothache Tree ‘

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Zanthoxylum – Prickly-ash – Hercules Club –

There are about 250 broadly rounded to upright, spiny, deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs, which make up this genus.  They naturally occur in forest from Asia, Australia North to South America, and Africa, usually in warmer regions.  They have aromatic bark, and are grown for their alternate, usually pinnate leaves, and their fruits, which split to reveal often black seeds.  They bear cymes or panicles of small, cup shaped. Green or yellowish green flowers from spring to summer, individual plants may be dioeciuos, or produce both unisexual and bisexual flowers.  Suitable for use in a shrub border or as a specimen tree.

Grow in fertile, moist but well drained soil in full sun or light, dappled shade.

Prone to powdery mildew, rust, and a few leaf spots.

Z. americanum – Northern Prickly Ash – Prickly Ash – Toothache Tree –This spreading, deciduous, aromatic, tree or bush from Eastern North America, grows 25’ feet tall and 10-15’ feet wide.  It produces spiny stems that carry mid green pinnate leaves, to 12” long, composed of 5-11 egg to oblong shaped leaflets.  The leaflets are pale green, and softly hairy beneath.  Before the leaves appear it bears axillary cymes, 2” across of small, cup shaped yellow-green flowers they are followed by spherical, warty red fruit.

Zones 3-7