Zanthoxylum fagara

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Zanthoxylum fagara
Zanthoxylum fagara (homeredwardprice) 001.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Z. fagara
Binomial name
Zanthoxylum fagara
(L.) Sarg., 1890

Schinus fagara L.[2]

Zanthoxylum fagara or wild lime, is a species of flowering plant that—despite its name—is not part of the genus Citrus with real limes and other fruit, but is a close cousin in the larger citrus family, Rutaceae. It is native to southern Florida and Texas in the United States, and to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America as far south as Paraguay.[2] Common names include: lime prickly-ash, wild lime, colima, uña de gato, and corriosa.[3]


Zanthoxylum fagara is a spreading shrub or small tree growing to 7 m (23 ft) tall. Its trunk is generally rough with gray bark and grows to about 0.25 m (0.82 ft) in diameter. The irregularly-shaped branches contain hooked spines with pinnate 5 cm (2.0 in) leaves.[4] The leaves and bark can be crushed to make a bitter-tasting condiment, and much of the tree smells similar to citrus.[3] Lime prickly-ash has a high drought tolerance and grows best in full sun, but it can also survive as an understory shrub. It provides significant food and cover for native wildlife and the leaves host the larvae of many butterflies, such as the giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes).[5]


The powdered bark and leaves have been used as a spice, with an odor similar to that of limes.[6]


  1. ^ Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) & IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (2019). "Zanthoxylum fagara". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T62988A150112088. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Zanthoxylum fagara". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2009-11-27.
  3. ^ a b "Colima, Lime Prickly Ash, Una de Gato, Corriosa". Benny Simpson's Texas Native Shrubs. Texas A&M University. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
  4. ^ "Zanthoxylum fagara" (PDF). Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida. October 1999.
  5. ^ "Wild-lime, Lime prickly-ash". Natives for Your Neighborhood. Institute for Regional Conservation. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  6. ^ Little, Elbert L. (1980). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region. New York: Knopf. p. 538. ISBN 0-394-50760-6.

External links[edit]

  • "Zanthoxylum fagara" (PDF). Digital Representations of Tree Species Range Maps from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. (and other publications). United States Geological Survey.