This attractive shrub suckers readily to form thickets and colonies. It has thorny stems and works well as a wildlife-friendly hedgerow or barrier. Prickly ash is a host plant for the giant swallowtail butterfly whose caterpillars eat the foliage. Bees are the main pollinators.
Prickly ash is dioecious, which means that a single plant has either staminate (male) or pistillate (female) flowers. In order for a pistillate plant to form the showy red fruits, a staminate plant must be nearby.
It has been used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments. Perhaps the most famous use is to soothe toothaches, which is the source of another common name: toothache tree.
Uses: Butterflies, bees, medicinal, hedgerow
Bloom time: April - May
Height: 5 to 10 feet
Space: 3 to 5 feet
Sun: Sun to medium shade
Moisture: Average to moist