Toxic Parts:
berries, bark
glycosides, mechanical injury
Flower Color:
  • flower color
woodlands, ornamental, meadows

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Devil's walking stick distribution - United States

Related Species

Devil's Walking Stick

Aralia spinosa

Hercule's Club, Angelica Tree, Prickly Ash, Toothache Tree, Prickly Elder
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Devil's walking stick (Aralia spinosa) is a spiny, few-branched, flat-topped deciduous tree. It is found naturally occurring in eastern North America from New York and Pennsylvania south to Florida and west to southwestern Iowa and western Texas. Mid to late summer, it produces large clusters of small white flowers, followed by the emergence of purple blackish berries early to mid-fall.

Devil's walking stick Identifying Characteristics
  • Shape: Umbrella-like
  • Height: 25 to 35 ft
  • Flowers: White, fragrant and showy flowers in the summer, depending on whether the tree is male or female.
  • Leaves: Bipinnately compounded; green to yellow ovate leaflets.
  • Fruit: Small black or purple drupes
  • Bark: Dark brown or dark gray; spiny or furrowed.

Toxic components
All parts of devil's walking stick can be mildly toxic to horses if ingested. They may also get contact dermatitis from rubbing up against parts of A. spinosa.


  • Skin Dermatitis
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Hypersalivation
  • Diarrhea


Devil's walking stick is killed by aerosol applications of glyphosate at rates of 1.50 to 2.25 pounds per acre (0.56-2.52 kg/ha) applied three times at 2-week intervals from mid-August to mid-September