Sassafras

This Missouri native tree is capable of producing clones from its sprawling root system, allowing it to create genetically identical colonies. 

Name Sassafras
Latin Name Sassafras albidum
Type Native
Diameter 2.2″ caliper
Color of Leaf Medium green with yellow, orange, or red fall color
Shape of Leaf Mitten-shaped or ovate, fragrant
Color of Flower Yellow
Shape of Flower Irregular, clustered
Fruit Characteristics Dark blue drupes on female trees
Bark Characteristics —–
Foliage Type Deciduous

An interesting feature of the Sassafras is its uniquely lobed leaves. The number of lobes on a leaf range from none up to three, when on most trees the number of lobes stay uniform throughout. Sassafras leaves had been used for centuries as a healing oil and as a flavoring agent, although recent work has found that the oil may have carcinogenic compounds. This has resulted in the banning of sassafras oil products across the US.

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