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Deciduous tree

Leaf close-up

Stem armament

Hercules'-club, Pepperbark, Toothache Tree, Tickletongue, Prickly Ash
Zanthoxylum clava-herculis


Hercules'-club is found in the eastern third of the state, most commonly along fence lines but also at the edges of woods. Its twigs are armed with stout prickles, and the bark develops knobby warty projections that lend it its common name. It grows on deep, heavy, alkaline clay soils in the Blackland Prairies, on acidic, almost sterile sands in the Post Oak Savannah and the Pineywoods of deep east Texas, and in neutral, well-drained clay soils in the Gulf Prairies and Marshes. Intolerant of shade, Hercules'-club attains its largest size and becomes most attractive on disturbed sites or abandoned cropland.

Plant Habit or Use: medium tree

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: green

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: small black capsules

Height: to 50 ft.

Width: to 40 ft.

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements: low

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments: When the bark and leaves are chewed, they have a numbing effect.

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