Alternate Names: Southern Prickly Ash, Toothache Tree
Family: Rue (Rutaceae)
Habitat: Dry prairies
Height: 36-72 ft.
Bloom Period: March - April
Description: The common name refers to its very distinctive spiny trunk. It is also sometimes called toothache tree because of the numbness of the mouth, teeth and tongue induced by chewing on its leaves or bark (thus relieving toothache). It was used for such medicinal purposes by both Native Americans and early settlers.
The Wildlife Connection: Berries attract many species of birds and other wildlife. Larval host for many insects and butterflies including the giant swallowtail.