Zanthoxylum clava-herculis (Toothache Tree)
Also known as Hercules Club, Pepperbark, Prickly Ash.
Toothache Tree is an aromatic (chewing the leaves and bark is a home remedy for toothache; it numbs the pain), spiny, small to medium-sized tree with leathery compound leaves. It is easily grown in moist, well-drained soils in sun to part shade. It tolerates poor soils. It typically grows to 20-30’ tall, but often matures to a much shorter height as a large shrub. It can form thickets. Male and female flowers appear on separate trees. Flowers are followed by red seed pods which appear only on female trees.
Toothache Tree is one of the best larval food sources (host plant) for the Giant Swallowtail butterflies. It also provides an excellent source of seeds and fruit for birds.
Toothache Tree can be used for hedgerows, screens, naturalized woodland areas or integrated into native plantings.
AT A GLANCE
|Sun exposure||Sun to part shade
|Bloom color||Yellow, green
|Mature height||15-30 ft
|Mature spread||10-25 ft
|Host plant||Giant Swallowtail butterfly
|Notes||Chewing bark and leaves can numb toothache.
|Present in state|
|Present in county and native|
|Native to North America, but adventive & escaped in state|
|Not present in state|
|Present and rare, native in county|
|Previously present, now extinct|
|Questionable presence (cross-hatched, regardless of color)|