Sassafras, Sassafras albidum
Lauraceae or Laurel Family


Medium-sized to large tree. Leaves not opposite each other, and not toothed, of three kinds, even on same tree, oval, 3-lobed, or mitten shaped, fuzzy beneath, turning reddish in autumn. Crushed leaves and twigs and bark spicy fragrant. Bark fibrous. Flowers very small, yellow- green, 5-petalled, in the spring. Male and female flowers on different trees. Fruits are blue-black berries sitting in red cups.

A native tree with charming leaves, occasional in the forested areas of Wildwood. The roots were formerly used to make sassafras tea, but have fallen out of favor because of the presence of tumor promoters.

The presence of three different shaped leaves on the same tree easily identifies this species.

Unlobed leaf Mitten leaf Three-lobed Leaf
Underside of leaf   Fall foliage

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