Prickly Ash, Southern (Xanthoxylum clava-herculis) packet of 10 seeds
Family: Citrus (Rutaceae)
Hardy to Zones 7 to 11
(Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, Southern Prickly Ash, Hercules’ Club, Pepperwood, Tinglewood, Toothache Tree) Dioecious shrub to small tree, flowering yellow to 9 feet tall, native to the southeastern and especially the gulf states. The flowers are aromatic and attract butterflies. The surface of the bark gives rise to numerous horizontally layered, conical to pyramidal eruptions that terminate in stout spines. The bark is prepared for harvest by employing a club (oddly enough, as per the species name of the tree) to run vigorously up and down the trunk, thereby breaking off the prickles prior to handling. Then, the bark is slipped off the wood of the tree, dried in large quills (see photo) and ground up prior to use. The seeds are also used. Historical usage (TWM, TNAM): antiinflammatory for treating toothache, sialagogue, alterative. Source of isobutylamides, similar to both Spilanthes and Echinacea. The Eclectic physicians used this herb extensively, usually in formula, so if more information is desired, the main resource would be “King’s Dispensatory.” Tree prefers deep, rich, moist soils in the sun to part shade. Trees of both sexes are required for fertilization. Drop seeds in hot water and allow to soak overnight, then give at least 90 days cold treatment, either in moist medium in the refrigerator, or by planting outdoors in the fall. After a month, keep checking refrigerated seeds and plant them in warm soil if they begin to sprout. Seeds planted in outdoor conditions in the fall will germinate in the first or second spring. Space trees 15 feet or more apart.
10 seeds per packet, open pollinated, untreated, NO GMO’s
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