Alphabetical Plant Listing

Zanthoxylum americanum (Prickly Ash)

Common Pricklyash, Toothache Tree, Prickly Ash


Zanthoxylum americanum (Prickly Ash) is an aromatic, small tree or large multi-stemmed shrub with compound, rich, dark green leaves, 12 in. long (30 cm), adorned with 5-11 leaflets. The foliage is reminiscent of the ash foliage and turns yellow in the fall. The stems are prominently armed with sharp prickles. In spring, fragrant greenish-yellow flowers bloom along the stems as the leaves emerge. They are inconspicuous but attractive to bees. The female flowers give way to clusters of rounded, reddish-brown fruits which ripen in late summer. All parts of Prickly Ash are aromatic and exude a lemony fragrance. Adaptable, tough, durable, this is a good plant for naturalizing and wildlife food. Good as a hedgerow, barrier, or thicket in a naturalistic wildlife garden.

  • Grows up to 15-20 ft. tall (450-600 cm) and 10-15 ft. wide (300-450 cm). Colonizes by root suckers to form dense thickets.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in medium moisture, well-drained soils. Tolerates drought and poor soils.
  • Good choice for hedgerows or screens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Promptly remove suckers to prevent any undesired spread.
  • Native to eastern and central North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 15' – 20' (4.5m – 6m)
Spread 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 15' – 20' (4.5m – 6m)
Spread 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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