What is this spiky tree as seen in northern Mississippi?

enter image description here

Another one:

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


This looks like Zanthoxylum clava-herculis to me based on the distinctive look and region that you mentioned. It's also known as the Hercules' club, pepperwood, or southern prickly ash:

tree photo

Here's the range distribution map:

Range distribution map


It looks strikingly similar to these pictures in another identification post. Bamboo provided a bit more information about the plant called Ceiba speciosa. Perhaps the additional characteristics listed by Bamboo (bulbous base, not always pronounced) and the original poster of the similar/same identification question (thorns also present) are also true of the tree you found?

Bamboo stated it is commonly known as Silk Floss tree, native to parts of South America.

  • I'm new to the stack exchange community, is there a certain action that is taken when there seem to be duplicate posts?
    – Kar
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 19:03
  • Users with sufficient reputation can vote to close questions as duplicates of other questions. Users with less rep can still flag questions as duplicates for mods to look at. More info: gardening.stackexchange.com/help/duplicates
    – jncraton
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 19:23
  • 1
    Without seeing the foliage, it would be hard to determine whether this tree is actually Ceiba or Zanthoxylum,the leaf arrangement is different between them.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 19:28
  • The giant spikes in gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/55680/… seem more similar to OP's tree than does the jncranton answer.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 15:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.