Herb: Winged Prickly Ash

Latin name: Zanthoxylum planispinum

Synonyms: Zanthoxylum alatum planispinum, Zanthoxylum alatum subtrifoliolatum, Zanthoxylum armatum

Family: Rutaceae (Rue Family, Citrus Family)

Medicinal use of Winged Prickly Ash:

The seeds and roots are stomachic and vermifuge. A decoction of 7 - 14 seeds is used in the treatment of abscesses, arthritis, bruises, gastritis, swellings etc. The resin contained in the bark, and especially in that of the roots, is powerfully stimulant and tonic.

Description of the plant:


3.5 m
(11 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Low mountains in Japan.

Edible parts of Winged Prickly Ash:

Seed - cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a condiment, a pepper substitute. A light roasting brings out more of the flavour. The seed is an ingredient of the famous Chinese "five spice" mixture. The peel is also used. Young leaves are eaten. No further details are given.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of Winged Prickly Ash:

Low mountains in Japan.

Known hazards of Zanthoxylum planispinum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.