|A Devil's Walking-stick
|The fruit/flower stalk on this shrub is very colorful even after the berries have fallen off.
|Berries (several already missing) and fruit stem.
|Most parts of the tree, even leaves, have prickles and spines.
|A single twice compound leaf, the largest of any of our trees.
|Giant leaves in their Fall color, though yellow is more common.
During the Civil War, Confederate doctor Francis Porcher was tasked with finding alternative medicines for those no longer available due to Union blockades. He noted that the bark could be used for chronic rheumatism, colic, syphilis, and the pain from dental cavities (thus another moniker of Toothache Tree). As a vomiting agent, he stated that it was "probably to be preferred to any emetic yet discovered among our native plants." In South Carolina, he said the plant was "the rattlesnake master par excellance" for treating snake bites. He was quite a supporter of its medicinal uses.
As can be seen, there is a lot to this shrub besides its unusual appearance. Something to keep in mind when running into this prickly character anytime in the year, but particularly this Halloween season.