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I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. Sassafras Leaf. The sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum) is a species found in much of the eastern United States. For most animals, sassafras is not consumed in large enough quantities to be important, although it is an important deer food in some areas. Sassafras albidum is a deciduous tree, native to eastern North America and eastern Asia. Leaf shape in Sassafras 1143 branches. Why do trees lose their leaves? [15] In deciduous tropical Lauraceae, leaf loss coincides with the dry season in tropical, subtropical and arid regions. Sassafras leaf has a long tradition of use by indigenous peoples. The bark on a mature trunk is also very distinctive. Sassafras is a deciduous shrub or small tree. We have lots of sassafras and spicebush for it to burn through, and I don’t want to lose either. In 2019, it had been detected as far north as Kentucky. The sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum) is a species found in much of the eastern United States. For a more detailed description of uses by indigenous peoples of North America, and a history of the commercial use of Sassafras albidum by Europeans in the United States in the 16th and 17th centuries, see the article on the extant North American species of sassafras, Sassafras albidum. It is also used as a fungicide, dentifrice, rubefacient, diaphoretic, perfume, carminative and sudorific. © 2012, Jerry Jindrich. Sassafras leaves are alternately arranged and often grow in three shapes: three-lobed, mitten-shaped and elliptical or egg-shaped. Its range was wider long ago and there have been fossilized leaf remains found in Greenland and northern Europe too. In the fall, sassafras leaves turn a variety of colors ranging from bright yellow, to brilliant orange, to scarlet red or even burgundy. Carey and Gill rate its value to wildlife as fair, their lowest rating. Color of the leaves changes to yellow, orange, red and purple before they fall from the tree during the autumn. Hi, Midge. Vector. This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research. The three shapes of Sassafras leaves, from the left are the single, mitten and tri-lobed leaves. Bruised sassafras leaves have a spicy aroma, reminiscent of root beer. More about Sassafras on Wikipedia. [5] All parts of the plants are fragrant. Sassafras Leaf. The leaves are alternate and simple leaves; they are 3 – 6 inches long and 2 -4 inches wide. Sassafras (includes photo of five-lobed leaf), Southern Research Station (www.srs.fs.fed.us), https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@[email protected]+2653, Wikibooks:Traditional Chinese Medicine/From Sabal Peregrina To Syzygium Samarangense, U of Arkansas: Division of Agriculture Plant of the Week: Sassafras, GardenGuides.com Sassafras – Shrub Plant Guide, Plants for a Future: Plant Portrait – Sassafras albidum, The Jefferson Monticello: The Lucy Meriwether Lewis Marks exhibit – article by Wendy Cortesi, FossilMuseum.net: Rare Sassafras Plant Fossils, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sassafras&oldid=995439698, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from September 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2012, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2019, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from May 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 01:32. It is an above ground woody plant. Creating Space for Pollinators and Wildlife. My Grandmother always sent my uncles to collect the sadsafras roots for her to make tea. It was last measured in 2016. During the growing season, sassafras leaves are bright green above and glaucous below. A rare five-lobed sassafras leaf. Add to Likebox #103784401 - Autumn leaf - Sassafras. Most sassafras trees contain three different leaf shapes. Until more research is done, sassafras leaf shapes remain a mystery. Break open the bark to look for a cinnamon color. See more ideas about leaves, sassafras tree, plant leaves. Bark of young trees is smooth and green, while older trees have reddish, furrowed bark. The genus Sassafras includes four species, three extant and one extinct. It grows from 30–59 ft tall and spreads 25–39 ft. It bears three shapes of leaf: 3-lobed, mitten shaped, and simple, all smelling like root beer when crushed. Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is a very common tree around here. Often, the leaf was used to flavor and thicken soups and sauces. [20] Sassafras is no longer used in commercially produced root beer since sassafras oil was banned for use in commercially mass-produced foods and drugs by the FDA in 1960 due to health concerns about the carcinogenicity of safrole, a major constituent of sassafras oil, in animal studies. The waxy, glossy leaves produce an aromatic mucilage. Leaf Shape of Each Tree The easiest way to tell the mulberry and sassafras apart is by examining their leaves. Sassafras randaiense However, I have found and pressed two four-lobed sassafras leaves and a five-lobed sassafras leaf. It quickly devastated the redbays (Persea borbonia), a tree native to the southeastern Atlantic Coastal Plain. in diameter. The average height of a sassafras tree is between 20 and 40 feet, though some are shorter due to twisting of the trunk. 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