Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Kerry Wixted.

Sassafras

Scientific name
Sassafras albidum
Plant Family
Leaves and twigs are spicy fragrant when crushed or scratched. Leaves occur in three distinct shapes: oval, bilobed (mitten-shaped), and tri-lobed (three-pronged). Young twigs are green.
Identification Hints

Leaves and twigs are spicy fragrant when crushed or scratched. Leaves occur in three distinct shapes: oval, bilobed (mitten-shaped), and trilobed (three-pronged). Young twigs are green. Small yellow flowers are produced along with the young leaves. The olive-sized black fruit is produced in a distinctive red cup. This small tree is typically found in open woods and thickets.

Did You Know?

Sassafras leaves are an important food source for white-tailed deer, rabbits, muskrats, and other small mammals. Sassafras flowers from March to May and fruits ripen from June to September. The fruits are drupes and are commonly eaten by a variety of songbirds.

States
AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV