Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Magnoliids: Laurales
Dig deeper at SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria.
You may also want to check Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina
Learn more about Sassafras from the Vascular Plants of North Carolina.
SYNONYMOUS WITH Flora of North America
SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 084-02-001:
Sassafras albidum FAMILY Lauraceae
To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.
Richard and Teresa Ware rtw_sassafras_albidum
Bark grayish to brown, thickening w age, fissured and with elongated ridges, per Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide (Lance, 2004).
JK Marlow jkm0502a_03
February Greenville County SC
Twigs greenish, spicy scented, per Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge (Lance).
JK Marlow jkm0303y_16
March Greenville County SC
Clusters of yellow flowers appear before the leaves, per Wild Flowers of NC, 1st edition.
Keith Bradley kab_s_albidum_2972
March Lexington County SC
Perianth segments 6, each 3-5mm long, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968).
JK Marlow jkm0304a_05
April Greenville County SC
The original source of root beer, per Weakley's Flora.
JK Marlow jkm0404a_23
April Greenville County SC
COMPARE flowers of Sassafras and Spicebush
Richard and Teresa Ware rtw_sassafras_albidum_2
Elongated ridges broken horizontally by cracks or in blocklike scaly plates, per Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide (Lance, 2004).
JK Marlow jkm210626_1689
June Oconee County SC
Sumter National Forest: Andrew Pickens Ranger District
Will Stuart wil_9713885726_ebc18cf353
September Chesterfield County SC
Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
Fruit is a blue-black drupe on a red stalk, mature in August, per Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide (Lance, 2004).
COMPARE fruit of Lauraceae family
JK Marlow jkm0210m_00
October Henderson County NC
Leaves may be brilliant yellow, orange, or red, per Fall Color & Woodland Harvests (Bell & Lindsey, 1990).
JK Marlow s041024_b
October Greenville County SC
Leaves can be unlobed, mitten-shaped, or 3-lobed; margins entire, per Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge (Lance).
COMPARE leaves of Giant Ragweed and Sassafras
Flora of North America
Habitat: A wide variety of forests, old fields, disturbed areas, fencerows, per Weakley's Flora
Native to the Carolinas & Georgia
Click here to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.
Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)
6 deciduous tepals
9 fertile stamens on staminate flowers
TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!
- Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Wasowski & Wasowski, 1994, 2020) p071
- Gardening with the Native Plants of Tennessee (Hunter, 2002) p316
- Guide to the Wildflowers of SC (Porcher & Rayner, 2001) p198
- Identifying Trees: An All-Season Guide to Eastern North America (Williams, 2007) p356
- Landscaping with Native Trees (Sternberg & Wilson, 1995) p235
- Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants p051
- Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of the Southeast (Foote & Jones, 1989) p061
- Native Trees of the Southeast, An Identification Guide (Kirkman, Brown, & Leopold, 2007) p229
- Trees of the Southeastern United States (Duncan & Duncan, 1988) p198
- Wildflowers of the Carolina Lowcountry (Porcher, 1995) p143
- Wild Flowers of NC, 2nd edition (Justice, Bell, & Lindsey, 2005) p087
- Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge (Lance) p25
- Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont (Spira, 2011) p261
- Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Winter Guide (Lance, 2004) p320