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Zanthoxylum fagara (Wild lime) is a Florida native, small to medium sized tree or large shrub. Wild Lime grows 10 to 20 feet in height and spreads in width equal its height. Moreover, it forms a cylindrical, moderate to dense, crown of numerous irregular shaped branches, which bear sharp, hooked spines. The bark is gray and rough. Additionally, the leaves are bright green, deciduous, compound, alternate with 5 to 9 leaflets. The leaflets are oval to elliptical, have a notched tip and wings along the rachis. The leaves measure two inches long. Crushed leaves give a citrus odor, an indication that it is a member of the citrus family.
Furthermore, male and female flowers are found on separate trees. The fragrant green-white flowers are small, inconspicuous, and are borne in terminal clusters that attract pollinators. The shiny red fruit is a fleshy round capsule, ripening to black. In addition, the fruit is about 1/2 inch in diameter, and has a single black seed. The birds feed on the fruits and the seeds are used for propagation. Additionally, the leaves and bark can be crushed to make a tart condiment, and to make medicinal tea. While, the yellow wood (zanthoxylum) is used to make furniture.
Zanthoxylum fagara (Wild lime) can be grown in moist sandy, limestone soils with good drainage. In addition, it can be grown on a surface layer of organic matter. Once established it is quite hardy. In landscaping, the appealing foliage and fruits make wild lime a good choice as a specimen or accent plant. You can also use it in seaside gardens, parks or a native garden. It can be formed into a hedge, or grown in a container. In addition it is suited to buffer strips around parking lots or median strips. Wild populations of this tree in Florida are endangered.