Plant Index


 
 
 
 

Sassafras albidum

Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees

sassafras, white sassafras

Synonym(s): Laurus albidus, Laurus sassafras, Sassafras albidum var. molle, Sassafras officinale, Sassafras sassafras, Sassafras variifolium
Sassafras albidum (Sassafras)
Image ID: 18706
Image by: Ware, Richard & Teresa
Image Collection: NCBG Digital Library

PLANT INDEX

ID_PLANT: SAAL5
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sassafras albidum
Include in WOTAS: 0
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2019-11-29

GENUS INDEX

GENUS CODE: SASSA
GENUS SCIENTIFIC: Sassafras
GENUS AUTHORITY: Nees & Eberm.
GENUS COMMON: Sassafras
GENUS SUMMARY: A genus of 3 species, trees, of temperate e. Asia (2 species) and e. North America (1 species).
GENUS IDENTIFICATION:
GENUS REFERENCES: Van der Werff in FNA (1997); Rohwer in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).

FAMILY INDEX

FAMILY CODE: LAURAC
FAMILY SCIENTIFIC: Lauraceae
FAMILY AUTHORITY: A.L. de Jussieu 1789
FAMILY COMMON: Laurel Family
FAMILY SUMMARY: A family of about 50 genera and 2500-3500 species, trees and shrubs, of tropical, subtropical, and (rarely) warm temperate regions. Laurus nobilis Linnaeus, Laurel, Bay, native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and the bay leaf of commerce; planted as an ornamental and spice, especially in warmer parts of our area, but is not known to escape in our area.
FAMILY REFERENCE: Van der Werff in FNA (1997); van der Werff & Richter (1996); Rohwer in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES

INTRO:
STEMS: Stems aerial or stolon. Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) green or reddish-brown or yellow-green, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent. Twigs (2–4 years old) glabrous. Leaf scars crescent-shaped or half-round, bundle scars 1(–3) per leaf scar, stipule scars absent. Bark of mature trunks furrowed or ridged. Buds axillary or terminal, brown or green, 1.5–12.5 mm long, globose or ovoid, blunt or sharp, bud scales imbricate.
LEAVES: Leaves deciduous, simple, petiolate, alternate, 6–15(–18) cm long, (2–)5–10 cm wide, obovate or oval or ovate, leaf margins entire, unlobed or shallowly lobed or moderately lobed or deeply lobed, palmately lobed, leaf lobes 1–3(–5) per leaf, leaf apices acute or obtuse, leaf bases cuneate. Leaf upper surface green, glabrous or glabrate. Leaf lower surface green, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent. Leaf venation palmate or pinnate. Petioles 1.9–3.8 cm long. Stipules absent.
INFLORESCENCE: Inflorescences axillary or terminal, panicles or racemes, flowers stalked.
FLOWERS: Flowers unisexual or pistillate or staminate, perigynous. Perianth. Calyx radially symmetric, synsepalous. Sepals 6 per flower, calyx tubes 3–5 mm long, yellow or yellow-green, lanceolate or obovate or ovate, pubescent, caducous. Corolla absent. Androecium. Stamens 9 per flower, staminodes present. Gynoecium. Ovaries superior, pistils 1 per flower. Gynoecium monocarpous, 1 carpels per flower, styles 1 per pistil, styles 2–3 mm long, placentation basal. Other floral features. Hypanthia present.
FRUITS: Fruits drupes, 0.6–1.5 cm long, black or blue, fruit maturation 1 years.
COMMENTS: Leaves and twigs with a spicy odor when crushed or broken, roots with a different root-beer-like odor; leaves may be unlobed or with 2 or 3 (rarely 4–7) lobes.
HEIGHT: to 30 feet

DURATION: Perennial
HABIT: Shrub, Tree

LEAF ARRANGEMENT: Alternate
LEAF COMPLEXITY: Simple
LEAF RETENTION: Deciduous

FLORAL CHARACTERISTICS
SYMMETRY:
BLOOM TIME: March or April or May.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x x

BLOOM COLOR: Yellow flowers
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x x x

FRUITING PERIOD: Jun-Jul.

DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE: Bottomlands, Disturbed, Moist forests, Woods margins
NATIVE RANGE: eastern United States

HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: Sassafras is one of the finest ornamental southeastern native trees, with varying four-season interest. It is infrequently offered for sale. Its mitten-shaped leaves show vivid fall colors, ranging from yellow and gold to orange. In the spring, its light yellow flowers are very attractive. Even in winter, the smooth reddish bark adds beauty. Host plant for Spicebush Swallowtails. The Cherokee used the flowers for fertilizer, and also used the plant to add scent to soap.

Bloom Table Text:

NCBG Location:

Cultural Notes:

SOIL MOISTURE: Dry, Average, Well-drained
LIGHT EXPOSURE: Sun, Part Shade, Shade
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 4
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9
GERMINATION CODE:
WILDLIFE VALUE: Bee Friendly, Butterfly Friendly, Bird Friendly
DEER RESISTANCE:

GRIM ACCESSIONS

acc_id acc_num acc_dt coll_id Action
154 2010-0083 2011-01-03 155 View
1402 1986-1182 View
3325 1990-0192 View
3777 1991-0472 View
4502 1992-0658 View
4987 1995-0105 View
5189 1995-0308 View
5691 1995-0815 View
6302 1995-1434 View
6526 1996-0155 View
6980 1998-0193 View
7106 1999-0060 2000-12-01 View
7647 2001-0001 2001-02-26 View
9202 2020-0009 2020-04-21 0 View
9260 2019-0019 2019-11-18 1970 View
9392 2021-0025 2021-03-29 0 View


GRIM COLLECTIONS

Coll_id Project Collection date Collector Action
155 HORT 2010-12-29 Poythress View
1970 HORT 0000-00-00 Gocke View


GRIM PLANTINGS

plt_num acc_id loc_num pers_num inst_dt Action
313 154 40 Mixon 2011-09-28 View
314 154 40 Mixon 2011-10-03 View
2451 1402 81 NCBG staff 0000-00-00 View
5524 3325 58 NCBG staff 2007-06-18 View
6085 3777 199 NCBG staff 0000-00-00 View
6830 4502 200 NCBG staff 1993-03-01 View
7406 4987 202 NCBG staff 1992-01-01 View
7638 5189 203 NCBG staff 1992-01-01 View
8205 5691 204 NCBG staff 1993-01-01 View
8957 6302 2 NCBG staff 0000-00-00 View
9229 6526 143 NCBG staff 1996-01-01 View
9854 6980 158 NCBG staff 1997-04-15 View
10040 7106 176 NCBG staff 1997-01-01 View
10823 7647 93 NCBG staff 2003-04-23 View
10824 7647 142 NCBG staff 2001-02-07 View
10825 7647 81 NCBG staff 1967-12-31 View
12196 9202 153 MacIntyre 0000-00-00 View
12386 9260 112 Stern 2019-11-18 View
12645 9392 112 Daley 2021-03-12 View

USDA PLANTS DATABASE

USDA Symbol: SAAL5
USDA Common Name: Sassafras
Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Distribution: USA (AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV), CAN (ON)
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUS

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU FACU FACU FACU FACU

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast

WEAKLEY FLORA

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sassafras albidum
COMMON NAME: Sassafras
SYNONYMY: [= C, FNA, G, K, Pa, RAB, Va, W, WH3; > S. albidum var. molle (Rafinesque) Fernald - F, WV; > S. albidum var. albidum - F, WV]
PHENOLOGY: Mar-Apr; Jun-Jul.
HABITAT: A wide variety of forests, old fields, disturbed areas, fencerows.
COMMENTS: S. ME, s. ON, MI, and s. WI, south to c. peninsular FL, s.AL, s. MS, and se. TX. The original source of root beer.
RANGE MAP: Sassafras albidum.png

Key to Map Symbols
ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Lauraceae A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Laurel Family)
SUMMARY: A family of about 50 genera and 2500-3500 species, trees and shrubs, of tropical, subtropical, and (rarely) warm temperate regions. Laurus nobilis Linnaeus, Laurel, Bay, native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and the bay leaf of commerce; planted as an ornamental and spice, especially in warmer parts of our area, but is not known to escape in our area.
REFERENCE: Van der Werff in FNA (1997); van der Werff & Richter (1996); Rohwer in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Sassafras Nees & Eberm. (Sassafras)
SUMMARY: A genus of 3 species, trees, of temperate e. Asia (2 species) and e. North America (1 species).
REFERENCE: Van der Werff in FNA (1997); Rohwer in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).

HERBARIUM RESOURCES

SERNEC: Find Sassafras albidum in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Sassafras albidum in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES

USDA: Find Sassafras albidum in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Sassafras albidum in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Sassafras albidum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sassafras albidum

NCBG IMAGE RECORDS

ID IMAGE1: 18706
ID IMAGE2: 7281
ID IMAGE3: 17127

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