Latin: Sassafras albidum
About - a pleasant, spicy fragrance is derived from the leaves, twigs, branches and bark when crushed. Boiling the inner bark yields an orange dye.
Description - grows to a height of 15 - 30 m with an irregular, broadly conical shape. Freely suckering tree.
Leaf - simple, alternate, 1 - 3 lobed, taper at tip and base. Lobed leaves become more rare as trees ages.
Bark - mature bark is reddish-brown with deep, corky ridges and is resinous and aromatic when broken.
Bud - smooth, green, oval, and pointed.
Twig - young twigs are smooth and yellow-green, and by late summer are dark green with warty bumps.
Flower - yellow-green in stalked clusters either male or female (dioecious).
Fruit - egg shaped, berry-like and each on a club shaped fleshy stalk growing in clusters. Contains a large stone-like seed.
Habitat - moist sand, dry clay, dry sand.
Wildlife Value - fruits are food for birds, squirrels, small mammals. Foliage preferred by promethea moth and spicebush swallowtail butterfly.
Wood - brittle, used for posts, boats, furniture, and once used to make dugout canoes. Oil derived from the roots used to perfume soaps and give root beer its distinctive taste.