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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Sassafras albidum

Sassafras, White Sassafras, Ague Tree, Sassy Tree

Scientific Name:

Sassafras albidum

Genus:

Sassafras

Species Epithet:

albidum

Common Name:

Sassafras, White Sassafras, Ague Tree, Sassy Tree

Plant Type

Tree/Shrub

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Lauraceae (Laurel Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

12-36 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Yellow, Green, Brown

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist

Bloom Time:

March, April, May, June, July

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

A wide variety of forests, old fields, disturbed areas, fencerows. Common throughout NC.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Highly Recommended and Available

Notes:

Sassafras, White Sassafras, Ague Tree, Cinnamon Wood, Mitten Tree, Saloop, Smelling Stick
Spicebush butterfly, Tiger swallow-tail, Palamedes butterflies, Pale Swallowtail

Leaves

Sassafras is easily recognized by having variously lobed leaves on one tree. The twigs have a spicy smell. Dried, they were traditionally used to thicken gumbo. The roots were made into tea and the oil was used as a flavoring and to scent soap.

image

Flowers

image

Mary Vigueras, April 2012

Emerging leaves

image

Mary Vigueras

Bark

image

Female trees produce small dark blue, fleshy drupes borne in a scarlet cup attached to a scarlet stalk

Orange County, NC

The Scientific Name is Sassafras albidum. You will likely hear them called Sassafras, White Sassafras, Ague Tree, Sassy Tree. This picture shows the Female trees produce small dark blue, fleshy drupes borne in a scarlet cup attached to a scarlet stalk of Sassafras albidum

Bettina Darveaux

Leaves turn a beautiful array of colors in the Fall

Orange County, NC

The Scientific Name is Sassafras albidum. You will likely hear them called Sassafras, White Sassafras, Ague Tree, Sassy Tree. This picture shows the Leaves turn a beautiful array of colors in the Fall of Sassafras albidum

Bettina Darveaux

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

Flora of North America



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