Common Sassafras Fact Sheet

Family:  Lauraceae - Laurel family
Latin name:  Sassafras albidum
Common name:  Common Sassafras
Sassafras albidum asset tag Sassafras albidum patch of trees Sassafras albiSassafras albidum winter buds terminal and lateral Sassafras albidum terminal bud in spring Sassafras albidum greenish bark Sassafras albidum trees with fall color Sassafras albidum deeply ridged bark Sassafras albidum leaves

Common Sassafras is native to the Eastern United States. Native Americans used the roots and bark of the sassafras in medicine. The leaves have been used as seasoning for soups and used to make a very flavorful tea. Winter buds and young leaves have been used in salads

IMPORTANT NOTE **** Possibly poisonous !!!

Safrole, an oil which is found in sassafras has been banned in the United States as food additives or flavoring agents by the FDA since 1976 because safrole may cause cancer.

Birds like to eat the fruits of the sassafras. Black bears, beaver, rabbits and squirrels eat the fruit, bark and wood.  White-tailed deer eat the twigs and leaves.


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