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Sassafras albidum /Sassafras

Sassafras albidum  / Sassafras albidum
Image showing the three leaf shapes associated with sassafras
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Image showing the three leaf shapes associated with sassafras

Spring flowers can be quite handsome on strong horizontal branches

This native tree has superb autumn foliage color

Autumn foliage on native tree in Michigan

Foliage color can vary considerably among trees, but is usually very striking when trees are growing in full sunlight

Looking up into the canopy of a tree in full bloom in North Carolian

Colony of sassafras trees growing on the edge of a forest

Several (three) leaf shapes on the same tree

Close-up image of spring flowers

Seeing fruit is quite unusual because birds devour the berries very soon after they mature

Flowers silhouetted against a blue sky can be quite beautiful

Branch of flowers

Typical tree form as flowers begin to form

Canopy in bloom

Close-up image of spring flowers and emerging foliage

Volunteer seedling showing the typical variation in leaf shape

Variation in leaf shape --entire, two-mitten lobed, three-shield shaped

Image showing the different leaf shapes of a young sassafras seedling

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Scientific Name: Sassafras albidum
Common Name: Sassafras
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Determine Your Zone
Height: 30-50 feet
Spread: 20- 30 feet
Bloom time: Spring
Flower color: Yellow
Fruit present: Summer
Fruit color: Black
Light Exposure: Sun, Part Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist
Rate of Growth: Moderate
Water Requirement: Medium
Maintenance Level: Low
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Landscape Categories: Deer Resistant-Tolerant Plants
Plants for Autumn Color
Plants that Attract Birds
Comments: This is a long lived pest free tree. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. Trees are often found growing in colonies. Yellow to red autumn foliage color is especially attractive and quite dependable. Roots yield an oil that flavors sassafras tea. Gumbo "file" is made from the crushed dried foliage.