Genus and species: Sassafras albidum
Leaves: There are three basic, differently shaped leaves that appear on the Sassafras tree. They are generally 3-5" (7.5-13cm) long and have rounded lobes. There is one leaf type that simply has one lobe, obviously with no sinuses. (View Leaf Type A) Another type has two lobes and one rounded sinus. (View Leaf Type B) The third type has three lobes and two rounded sinuses.(View Leaf Type C) The leaves have long stalks and are shiny green on top, paler beneath, and hairy.(View Leaves)
Bark: The bark is gray-brown in color and has deep ridges.(View Bark) The twigs are green and hairy.
Fruit: The fruit is about 0.25" (6mm) long. They are elliptical, shiny bluish-black berries that are each in a red cup on a red stalk. Each berry contains a shiny brown seed.
Tree: The tree is often aromatic and can grow to be 30-60' (9-18m) tall, with a narrow crown, as pictured to the left.
Range and Habitat: These trees are located from Ontario, east to Maine, south to Florida, west to Texas and north to Michigan. They are usually found in sandy, moist soils, sometimes in old fields or forest openings.
Sassafras Tree (Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 9/30/02)