zanthoxylum americana

cydonia33(7a)August 23, 2006

Has anyone had any experience with this shrub/tree? I cannot find much with a google search. I am basically wondering light/moisture requirements, growth habit/size, and wildlife value. Any info. would be much appreciated...


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loris(Z6 NJ)


I went to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center site's search and didn't find it, so I searched there with just genus, since sometimes there are sometimes multiple names for species, and the alternative names don't show up in their search. I'm guessing this is the plant I found listed as Zanthoxylum americanum (I've made similar slight changes to botanical names often enough!). Here's a site, and I linked to the Ladybird Johnson page below:

If it's a different plant, or if these and another Google search don't help enough, please add to the thread so somebody else can try to help, or I'll see if my books have information on it.


Here is a link that might be useful: growing conditions per Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 8:39PM
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nyssaman(Z6 ON)

I believe this is the tooth ache tree I often find this shrub in light shade of a woods edge border about 15 -20 feet from a clearing or field near or along a fence. I would say lightly moist to dry soil. something must eat the fruit because when I go to collect the seed it is usually birds do not like the smell of citrus and because this tree is in the orange family - I may be confusing this with hop tree as it is in the orange family but I believe this is too because if you rub the leaves it smells citrus like. I know the hop tree also in the orange family is the host for the swallow tail butterfly and if you rub this catapillar it will emit a smell of citrus as to ward off an attack from predator ie birds - so I would think not to popular with birds maybe critters though

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 11:32PM
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Google "prickly ash" and you will find hundreds of links to websites, mostly medicinal. The one below is probably one of the best for descriptiion and habitat. It is native in my county, but rarely sighted. With all of the land clearing and construction, it may soon only be found in the few preserved park areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Prickly Ash

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 12:57AM
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Yes, the Latin name for this plant is also spelled with an "X", but I did not have any luck searching either of the spellings. Thank you for the links and the personal experience.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 9:27PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Prickly Ash (Xanthoxylum americana) is not very common in places I have lived, so I am not familiar with how to grow it. However, I have heard that the fruit are favorites of many species of birds. Also, the leaves are one of the few natural food sources for Giant Swallowtail butterfly larva, which feed only on plants of the citrus family. I have seen this plant along woodland edges, dunes, and similar sunny openings in woods.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 4:12PM
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