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Cultivar or taxon


Zanthoxylum L. (sec. Wunderlin and Hansen 2003; sensu Tanaka sec. Cottin 2002)



Crown compact or dense or open, not weeping. First-year twig surface glabrous or pubescent; second- or third-year twig surface striate; thorns absent or not persistent or straight; prickles recurved or straight. Petiole glabrous or pubescent, length short, medium, long or very long; wings absent, if present, narrow, adjoining the blade. Leaflets five to seven or greater than seven, margin entire, crenate/crenulate or bluntly toothed, rachis wings absent, if present, narrow or medium, shade leaflet blades flat or weakly conduplicate, sun leaflet blades flat or weakly conduplicate. Scent of crushed leaflets spicy or peppery or somewhat to strongly malodorous. Fruit broader than long, as broad as long, or longer than broad; rind black (by misinterpretation) or red or pink; rind texture slightly rough (4-5); firmness papery; navel absent; flesh yellow.



Zanthoxylum is represented by seven species in the continental United States. Additional species occur in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. All seven continental species occur in the Citrus growing states of Florida and Texas. None have been reported for Arizona or California. Keys to Zanthoxylum in Florida and Texas are provided below (adapted from Wunderlin and Hansen 2003 and Correll and Johnston 1970, respectively).

Key to Zanthoxylum of Florida

1. Flowers in axillary clusters...2.

1'. Flowers in terminal panicles...3.

2. Petiole and rachis not winged...Z. americanum (rare; Gadsden, Jackson, and Levy cos.)

2'. Petiole and rachis winged...Z. fagara (frequent; central and s. peninsula)

3. Leaves with an even number of leaflets...Z. coriaceum (rare; Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach cos.)

3'. Leaves with an odd number of leaflets...4.

4. Prickles present...Z. clava-herculis (frequent; nearly throughout)

4'. Prickles absent...Z. flavum (rare; Monroe Co. keys)

Key to Zanthoxylum of Texas

1. Leaves on flowering branches with 9-17 leaflets, leaflet apices acute to acuminate...Z. clava-herculis (frequent; n. central to se. TX)

1'. Leaves on flowering branches with 5-11 leaflets, leaflet apices blunt...2.

2. Sepals apparently absent...Z. parvum (rare, known only from Trans-Pecos TX)

2'. Sepals present...3.

3. Sepals, petals, and stamens usually 4 each; inflorescences short, frequently only to 2 cm long...Z. fagara (frequent; Rio Grande plains and near coast)

3'. Sepals, petals, and stamens usually 5 each; inflorescences ample, to 7 cm long...Z. hirsutum (frequent; n. central TX, Edwards Plateau, and Rio Grande plains)



Correll, D. S. and M. C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Texas Research Foundation, Renner. 1881 pp.

Cottin, R. 2002. Citrus of the World: A citrus directory. Version 2.0. France: SRA INRA-CIRAD.

Wunderlin, R. P. and B. F. Hansen. 2003. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 787 pp.



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Citrus ID Edition 2
October, 2011