Author Topic: Toothache tree  (Read 70 times)

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Offline Wandering Man

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Toothache tree
« on: April 14, 2022, 11:05:58 am »
I have disliked this tree ever since we moved into our home in 2014.  When it was shorter, its branches would come through the fence and mingle with a bush I was trying to keep trimmed.  The thorns would stick through my gloved hands and break off in my skin.  I kept cutting off the limbs on my side of the property, and it kept coming back.

We had to put a couple of nucs in our side yard a couple of days ago after doing some splits at our bee yard.  Then yesterday, 3Reds was in the backyard checking on her garden and heard bees.  They were loud enough that she wondered if there were a swarm nearby.  Turns out that bees love this tree. 

Doing some research, I learned the tree has a lot of names:  Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, Hercules club, and Toothache tree.  Apparently the indians (I guess they would be the Karankawa in our area) used to chew on the leaves or bark to relieve toothaches.  Chewing on it causes the mouth and tongue to go numb.  In addition to bees liking the tree so does the swallow tail caterpillar. 

Now I have to adjust my attitude toward the tree.

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