Zanthoxylum americanum

Common name: Prickly Ash

Native plant

Prickly Ash is part of the oak savanna. It is a very thorny plant that grows into thickets that are impossible to penetrate. The seeds are jet black and have a very strong citrus smell. I have crushed the seed with my hands and smelled like citrus all day. Prickly and Wafer Ash are the major food source for the Giant Swallowtail butterfly.


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Price Level: 
Woodies- Standard Shrub
Sizing Options: 
1 Gallon
5 Gallon

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Plant Details

Plant type


Soil type

Dry, Dry Mesic, Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry)

Light exposure

Full Sun, Partial Sun / Part Shade, Shade

Bloom period


Urban environment

Yards that Flood


Prairie Grasslands

Growth form

Shrubby/Clump, Colonizing / Spreading, Rhizomatous/stoloniferous

Growth rate


Flower color

Green White

Fall color



Mature height
10 Feet
Mature width
5 Feet
Max height
15 Feet
Max width
10 Feet

Additional information

Butterfly host plant Loved by birds

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