NPSOT Logo
npsot_bluebonnet_full_color

Hercules Club

Zanthoxylum clava-herculis

Other common name(s):

Toothache Tree, Pepperbark, Tickle Tongue, Prickly Ash

Family:

Rutaceae (Rue Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

East Central Texas Plains, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Southern Post Oak Savanna
Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Tree

Height

10
to
25
ft.

Spread

12
to
15
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Acid, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low, Medium

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Yellow, Green

Bloom Season

Spring

Seasonal Interest

Seeds, Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds

Maintenance

A a hardy plant that requires ample water and sunlight, the Hercules Club can sprout anywhere, including along fence rows and the edges of woods. Drought tolerant once established. Don’t prune. Propagation: Seeds.

Comments

Blooms January-May. Aromatic and showy, round headed tree or shrub with spines on branches; gray bark covered with spine-tipped cone-like growths. Lustrous, pinnately compound leaves with spines on leaf stem, 5-19 leaflets with serrated edges. Clusters of whitish-yellowish flowers in spring. Fruit is a two-valved capsule that contains several small black seeds, produced on female trees. Nectar source: butterflies. Seed source for birds.. Larval host: Giant Swallowtail butterfly,
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Zanthoxylum macrophyllum

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ZACL. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Zanthoxylum+clava-herculis&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=22455&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 5) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=28850#null, 6) https://sheffields.com/inventory/view/1524, 7) https://littleredwagonnativenursery.com/products/hercules-club-zanthoxylum-clava-herculis-3-gal