Aralia/əˈreɪliə/, or spikenard, is a genus of the familyAraliaceae, consisting of 68 accepted species of deciduous or evergreentrees, shrubs, and rhizomatousherbaceousperennials. The genus is native to Asia and the Americas, with most species occurring in mountain woodlands. Aralia plants vary in size, with some herbaceous species only reaching 50 centimetres (20 in) tall, while some are trees growing to 20 metres (66 ft) tall.
Aralia spinosa, commonly known as Devil's Walkingstick, is a woody species of plants in the genus Aralia, family Araliaceae, native to eastern North America. The various names refer to the viciously sharp, spiny stems, petioles, and even leaf midribs. It has also been known as Angelica-tree.
This species is sometimes called Hercules' Club, Prickly Ash, or Prickly Elder, common names it shares with the unrelated Zanthoxylum clava-herculis. For this reason, Aralia spinosa is sometimes confused with that species and mistakenly called the Toothache Tree, but it does not have the medicinal properties of Zanthoxylum clava-herculis.
Aralia spinosa is occasionally cultivated for its exotic, tropical appearance, having large lacy compound leaves. It is closely related to the Asian species Aralia elata, a more commonly cultivated species with which it is easily confused.