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Sassafras albidum

Seneca Name


Common Name


Earth is Our Mother Trail

GPS Coordinates

N 42°57.853' W077°24.992'

The sassafras is an aromatic tree (30-60') and has a narrow, spreading crown of short, stout branches. Sometimes this tree can have a thicket-forming shrub habit. There are three different leaf shapes for the sassafras - elliptical, mitten-shaped 2-lobed leaf, and 3-lobed leaf. These leaf types will be seen on the same tree and often the same branches. See image to the right for an example of this - click image for a larger view. This tree is resplendent in the Fall with yellow, orange, and red colors. The bark is gray-brown becoming thick and furrowed with age. The sassafras has tiny yellow-green flowers and bluish-black berries that are usually only seen by birds. The roots of this tree have been used for perfumes, tea, and was the original root beer flavor. The leaf is still used as a thickener (filé) in gumbo.

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