Zanthoxylum hirsutum

Zanthoxylum hirsutum, Toothache Tree, courtesy of Melody Lytle

Zanthoxylum hirsutum, commonly known as Prickly Ash, Tickle-tongue, Toothache Tree and/or Zanthoxylum, belongs to the Rutaceae family.

"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."

This medium to large deciduous shrub (heighth: five to fifteen feet; width: two to ten feet) likes partial to full sun, tolerates high temperatures and limited moisture, prefers alkaline soil and is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone: 7.

Yellowish green flowers appear in the spring and subsequently produce a reddish-brown seed capsule.

The following butterfly species utilize Zanthoxylum hirsutum as a larval host.
Papilio (Heraclides) cresphontes

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This page is presented by Bill Oehlke.

This site is presented as an extension of the
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North American Catocala, a free publc access site about the Catocala (underwing moths) of North America.

Tree information is from Aggie Horticulture

Larval hostplant lists have been compiled from the Natural History Museum's
HOSTS - a database of the world's Lepidopteran hostplants