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.
48075 Jamestown Line R.R. #2, Aylmer ON N5H 2R2