The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Desert Botanical Garden
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The conservation of Zanthoxylum parvum is fully sponsored.
Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.
The bark, leaves, and fruit of species in the genus Zanthoxylum have historically been used medicinally, especially in Latin America. It is said to treat various ailments, including toothaches, intestinal problems, and rheumatism. (Powell 1988) In addition to these medicinal uses, species in the Zanthoxylum genus have been used as wildlife food, condiments, dyes, and diaphoretics (Vines 1976).
This species, the small prickly-ash, or Zanthoxylum parvum, is a shrub that grows up to 2 meters (6 feet) tall, with spines along its stem and branches. It is dioecious (produces male and female flowers on separate plants), producing small flowers before leaves mature in the early spring. Compound leaves are arranged oppositely, and are composed of 7 to 9 leaflets each.
Distribution & Occurrence
Found on relatively steep north- to east- facing slopes at elevations ranging from 4500 to 5700 feet. (Poole 1989)
This species is a minor component of the shrub layer in an oak-maple complex woodland. Frequently associated species include Acer grandidentatum, Quercus gravesii, Q. muhlenbergii, Q. grisea, Prunus serotina, Fraxinus velutina, Ugnadia speciosa, Rhus aromatica, R. virens, Fendlera rupicola, Ptelea trifoliata, Nolina texana, Cercocarpus montanus, Phacelia sp., Senecio millelobatus, Muhlenbergia sp., Festuca sp., Aristida sp., Desmodium psilophyllum, Thelypodium wrightii, and Erysimum capitatum. (Poole 1989)
|The total number of sites where this species is found is between seven and nine (USFWS 2000)|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Little is known about the reproductive biology of the species. For a number of years no flowering or fruiting individuals were known. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported in 2000 that female plants had been located in newly discovered populations. (Poole 1989; USFWS 2000)
Road maintenance - blading
Low populations numbers
Vines, R.A. 1960. Trees, shrubs and woody vines of the southwest. Austin: University of Texas Press. 1104p.