Zanthoxylum clava-herculis

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Plant Specifics

Size:10 to 25 (50) ft tall by 10-25 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Fruit Color:Yellow
Phenology:Deciduous. Blooms in spring. Fruit ripens in fall.
Noted for:Interesting bark, Showy flowers, Interesting foliage, Thorns


Recommended Uses:Specimen tree.
Considerations:Quite thorny.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:



Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit.


Larval host for giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes).

Native Habitats:Hammocks, wet woods, dunes, shell middens.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:The bitter aromatic bark was used for toothaches.
General Comments:Wood is quite soft and weak.  This author had one break in a storm.  It did however resprout from low on the trunk and the sprout is now about 15 ft tal.