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Hercules Club Tree

Zanthoxylum clava-herculis


Height - 30 feet

Width - 10 feet


Full sun to part shade

Plant Type

Native shade tree,


Other common names

Southern Prickly-Ash, Devil's Walking Stick,
Tickle-Tongue Tree,
Toothache Tree

Close up view

Full plant view

Save Water   Low water required
More Color   Tiny yellow flowers in spring, yellow foliage in fall
Attract Wildlife   Birds eat fruit, Giant Swallowtail caterpillars eat leaves
Reduce Maintenance   Low maintenance choice for a native landscape
Texas Tough    Drought tolerant and valuable to wildlife

Interesting Facts

This tree contains a natural topical numbing agent (hence its common names "Tickle Tongue" and "Toothache Tree").  It is said that pioneers would chew the bark and leaves of this tree to ease toothache pain.  Leaves are said to smell like "toothache drops."  Fruit has  a lemon zest taste and numbs the mouth, similar to Szechuan peppers (both plants are from the Zanthoxylum genus).  Bark and branches can be very spiny; not a good choice to plant along bike paths or where children play.  Is larval host plant of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly.  Note: This plant is often confused with Aralia spinosa, but they are two distinct species.

Hercules Club Trees in Frisco

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