Pricklyash, Tickle-tongue

Zanthoxylum hirsutum Buckl.

Rutaceae (Citrus family)


Pricklyash is a shrub to small tree in the Citrus family. A native, cool-season perennial, it is also commonly named tickle-tongue or toothache tree. Pricklyash often occurs as a shrub in brushy areas and in sandy soils.

Pricklyash flowers in the spring and produces a small citrus fruit that has no pulp and one large, black seed.

Two other species of Zanthoxylum commonly occur in Texas. This species is common to Central Texas and the Hill Country. It is extremely common to find this plant growing along fence lines.

The forage value of pricklyash is poor for livestock and fair to poor for deer.


Pricklyash is found on sandy or gravelly soil of Central and West Texas.