Sassafras albidum (Nuttall) Nees von Esenbeck
Lauraceae (Laurel) Family
Sassafras is an aromatic tree or thicket-forming shrub with variously shaped leaves and narrow, spreading crown of short, stout branches. Height is 30 to 60 feet, with a trunk diameter of 1-1/2 feet. Its preferred habitat is moist, particularly sandy, soils uplands and valleys, often in old fields, clearings, and forest openings. distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are about 5 inches long, elliptical, often with mitten-shaped lobes of three broad and blunt lobes. There are no teeth; base is short-pointed; long slender leafstalks; leaves shiny green above, paler and often hairy beneath. The leaves turn yellow, orange, or red in autumn.
The flowers are small, yellow-green, several clustered at the end of leafless twigs. Flowers appear in early spring. Male and female flowers appear on separate trees.
Fruit is an elliptical shiny bluish-black berry.