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1. a prickly tree, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, of the rue family, having a medicinal bark and berries.
2. Also called angelica tree , devil's-walking-stick. a prickly shrub, Aralia spinosa, of the ginseng family, having a medicinal bark and root.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A small, thin-barked, thorny tree found primarily along the coast, from Texas to Southern Virginia, and sometimes confused with the Devil’s Walkingstick. Colloquial names have included Sting Tongue tree, Tickle tongue tree, prickly ash, and Toothache tree. Slicing off some of the bark and chewing it or chewing tree twigs will make the tongue first tingle and then get numb, hence the reason for some of the common names.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Hercules-club - densely spiny ornamental of southeastern United States and West Indies
genus Zanthoxylum, Zanthoxylum - deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs: prickly ash
prickly ash - any of a number of trees or shrubs of the genus Zanthoxylum having spiny branches
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
They'll learn the Hercules-club is known as 'the toothache tree' because chewing its bark numbs the mouth.
For example, the sand live oak and Texas Hercules-club "champions" were actually just regular varieties of live oak and Hercules-club.
Among the champs: the biggest Texas ash, Texas persimmon, Texas buckeye, Texas sophora, Texas lignumvitae, Texas paloverde, Texas hercules-club, Texas redbud, Texas mulberry, Texas oak, and Texas live oak.