Colima, Lime Prickly-Ash, Wild Lime, Cat's Claw

Zanthoxylum fagara

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Zanthoxylum (zan-THOK-sil-um) (Info)
Species: fagara




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow



Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Cocoa, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebring, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Brownsville, Texas

Hondo, Texas

Longview, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 26, 2017, chalsie46 from Cocoa, FL wrote:

I have two wild lime, one growing as a bush in the garden and the second one is growing in a pot as a tree. Both are doing great! Been in our home now for five years, when my wife and I first moved here we didn't see any wildlife. After the first year my wife went to work ripping out all the grass and planted most native plants and trees. Within a week or two we had butterflies, bees and seen our first hummer. Neighbors were walking, riding and driving by unsure what to think. One day a neighbor said he never seen so many butterflies in one place and another stated " they never seen a humming bird around here." Five years and counting we have a bunny family, squirrels, snakes, frogs and a mixture of many different birds. We just love nature!


On Oct 24, 2010, MsY from Hollywood, FL wrote:

I bought my plant from Butterfly World 4 months ago and it has done wonderful in my South Florida garden. I've even found 2 Swallowtail cats on it already and consistently see the Swallowtails in my garden. However just a few weeks ago I noticed that the leaves are getting a little pale - they're not as dark green as they were. Is it lacking something? I can use some advice and/or suggestions.


On Dec 19, 2007, jameso from Longview, TX wrote:

Just purchased two of these for purposes of the swallowtail butterfly. It's supposed to be native to East Texas so we'll see how it does. Purchased mine in Rio Grande City, Texas. Update...Since I bought the two I've had to buy 12more. The giant swallowtails have laid more eggs than I can handle over a two month period. I've also got hercules club and mock orange but they are ignored.


On Jun 5, 2007, margaran from (Maggie) Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a great plant for Swallowtails. These trees should be treated for citrus greening to protect the citrus industry. Citrus Greening is worse than canker- it destroys the fruit. I'm concerned because lately I've bought several Rutacae for the butterflies and they were not treated.


On Jun 12, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I purchased this plant at a native plant retailer in Naples, FL this past January. It was 8' out of the pot. Now it's about 2' tall and growing nicely. This plant is the larva host to the Giant Swallowtail butterfly which was my main reason to acquire it. It currently has two Giant Swallowtail cats on it. This plant has very sharp, small needles everywhere, so it's very dangerous to touch. The plant has nice bright green leaves. So far it's not been bothered by pests. It's growing in bright sun through mid afternoon. So far (through early June) it has not blossomed. It might take another year or so to blossom.


On Jan 25, 2005, arielsadmirer from Margate, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I saw this plant at Butterfy World where it has grown into a small 15' tree. It is a host plant for the Giant Swallowtail butterfly. The Giant Swallowtail also uses citrus trees as host plants.

I purchased this plant from the nursery there and planted it in my garden. This is planted to provide a host for the Swallowtail butterflies. Because of the citrus canker eradication program in Florida, many citrus trees in our area of the state have been destroyed.

This plant is basically care free. Though, care must be taken when working around this plant, it has sharp curved thorns.


On Jan 19, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have not grown Zanthoxylum fagara, but see it in the wild fairly often. It is occasional in central and southern peninsular Florida, where it most often occurs in the shrub and small tree layers of subtropical and tropical hardwood hammocks, generally on well-drained to somewhat poorly drained but not swampy soils with a higher pH than is typical for most Florida soils. It is naturally found in the areas of Florida that are climate zones 9a to 11. This is a widespread subtropical to tropical shrub tolerant of seasonal drought that reaches its northern limits in both Texas and Florida.