Zanthoxylum piperitum
Common name: 
Japanese Prickly Ash
zan-tho-ZI-lum pi-PER-i-tum
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous shrub or small tree, compact, dense, 8-15 ft (2.5-4.5 m) tall and wide, stem armed with flat spines, 8-13 mm long, in pairs at each node.  Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 7.5-15 cm long, with 11-23 leaflets, each 2-4 cm long, glossy dark green; pepper-tasting.  Flower yellow-green, small, in 2.5-5 cm clusters.  Fruit reddish, they contain black seeds which are ground and used as a seasoning in Japan.
  • Sun
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5         Native to Japan, Korea, and northern China.
  • piperitum: pepper-like.
  • Silverton, Oregon: The Oregon Garden (2011)
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • developing fruit and leaves

    developing fruit and leaves

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • ripe fruit and leaves

    ripe fruit and leaves

  • leaf and fruit

    leaf and fruit

  • stem with spines (thorns)

    stem with spines (thorns)