Sassafras albidum

Growing Information

Plant Type: Tree
Sunlight: Sun, part shade
Soils: Average, dry to wet
Bloom Time: Yellow in April, May
Size: 6-15 feet in height; 6-15 foot spread

Plant or save Sassafras for texture and to attract wildlife. It has a sweet, fruity aroma and provides vibrant fall color ranging from red to orange to yellow. It can sucker into a small grove but is easily controlled. It is dioecious meaning the plant either has male or female flowers and only the female plant produces fruit. Until 1960 when banned for containing carcinogenic safrole, the roots and root bark provided sassafras tea and were used to flavor root beer.

Garden Companions

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), Mapleleaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica), Wavy Hairgrass (Deschampsia flexuosa), Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens)

Nature Benefits

• Larval host for butterflies and moths including Spicebush Swallowtail and Promethea Silk Moth.
• Birds feed on the fruit.
• Attracts a variety of pollinators.

Native Habitat

Occurs in forests, forest edges, roadsides.

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Photos