I wanted to learn about a few shrubs and small tress that I have not grown and Devil’s-walkingstick leapt to the front of the list. This plant is wicked! Its flowers, incredibly large leaves and attractive berries draw you in and then its vicious thorns wreak havoc on unsuspecting bare arms, legs and loose fitting clothing.
A pioneer plant, Devil’s-walkingstick will spread readily, if not vigorously, in an open site, such as a field or lawn. In a natural setting, the shrub would eventually be overtaken by the next succession of trees. Therefore, in a woodland or edge of woods setting it will not crowd out other vegetation.
The 3-5’ long leaves alone are worth noting. However, it is the greenish-white blooms that catch the eye in mid-summer. Not to be outdone, purple, pea-size berries that strain the branches with their weight in the fall and winter will also make you stop and take note.
Attracts bees, insects and butterflies. If planted around the home, would most definitely keep out intruders and nosey neighbors with its thorns.
Devil’s-walkingstick or Hercule's-club
Fruit: Purple- black, .25’ long and wide with 3-5 seed-like stones in August to October.
Planting: Easy to transplant. Well drained, moist fertile soils, but will also make itself at home in dry, rocky or heavy soils.