Zanthoxylum americanum

Zanthoxylum americanum


Zanthoxylum americanum, commonly called prickly ash, is an aromatic, spiny, thicket-forming deciduous shrub or small tree that resembles an ash with prickles. It is not an ash, however, but a member of the citrus family. Flowers bloom in spring before the leaves emerge. Flowers are greenish-yellow, fragrant and inconspicuous, but are quite attractive to bees. Female flowers give way to clusters of rounded, reddish-brown, berry-like fruits which mature in late summer. Fruits may be the best ornamental feature. All parts of this plant (leaves, flowers, fruit, bark and roots) are aromatic with a lemony fragrance.



Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates poor soils. Freely colonizes by root suckers to form dense thickets.


Type: Tree

Family: Rutaceae

Zone: 3 to 7

Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet

Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet

Bloom Time: April

Bloom Description: Yellowish - green

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Medium

Flower: Fragrant, Insignificant

Leaf: Fragrant

Attracts: Birds, Butterflies

Fruit: Showy

Other: Thorns

Tolerate: Drought, Black Walnut

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