Prickly Ash

I spent a great deal of time trying to identify this plant. We recently eradicated all of the buckthorn in our forest, and I was worried that this might be another form of it. These plants are everywhere (invasive?) and have thorns. So, I went online and searched through a bunch of leaf identifiers until I finally found it.

The leaves look so much like an ash or a locust, but those plants don't usually have thorns. I came across a synopsis for prickly ash and it looked just like my plants. But they mentioned a citrus scent. Hmmmm... The leaves smelled like leaves to me. I found another site that said the plant smells like citrus when you crush the leaves. So I crushed a leaf, smelled like lemon. I was so excited to have a positive identification.

Rumor has it that when you chew on the fruit of a prickly ash, it tastes like citrus and if you keep chewing it, your mouth goes numb. Not that I need anymore numbness. It's called the toothache tree by Native Americans. I love to know that kind of stuff. And while I certainly do not need anymore numbness...we all know I'm going to try it.


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