Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trees on My Land - Prickly Ash

Prickly Ash Tree

Zanthoxylum americanum or Zanthoxylum lave-herculis  

I am not sure which of these I have, but I lean toward lave-herculis because of the pointed leaves. 

 The trees on my land are attractive small trees whose bark is covered with small spines that hurt if you grasp a branch or truck. It is the most common tree on the east, sandiest part of the land. In addition to the prickly bark, these trees have leave that tingle on the tongue when you chew them. One name for this tree is "toothache plant."

It is said to be useful to treat tooth and gum disease and as a poultice for sore muscles. I have never tried it. The tree is also used as a home by birds. They are pretty trees, most of which I will keep.

1 comment:

  1. I was so tickled to see this on your blog this morning! I've wanted Prickly Ash but it doesn't like our site. I do have a relative, the Texas Hercules Club (Zanthoxylum hirsutum) which has the same leaf-shape, spines and tongue-qualities. It's a small, bushy forest-edge tree, very drought-tolerant and the only host to the Giant Swallowtail butterfly in my yard.