Sassafras albidum

Sassafras Tree

Sassafras Tree – (photo: Pymouss – Wikimedia)

Sassafras albidum is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–20 m tall, with a trunk up to 60 cm diameter, and a crown with many slender sympodial branches.  The bark on trunk of mature trees is thick, dark red-brown, and deeply furrowed. The shoots are bright yellow green at first with mucilaginous bark, turning reddish brown, and in two or three years begin to show shallow fissures. The leaves are alternate, green to yellow-green.


Root Beer

All parts of the Sassafras albidum plant have been used for human purposes, including stems, leaves, bark, wood, roots, fruit, and flowers. Sassafras albidum, while native to North America, is significant in the economic, medical, and cultural history of Europe as well as North America. In North America, it has particular culinary significance, being featured in distinct national foods such as traditional root beer and File powder, used in Louisiana Creole cuisine.

Sassafras Trees are important also because they support 36 species of native butterflies including Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly. [3]

Champion Sassafras Trees in Atlanta and Georgia


Atlanta Champion Trees – full list
Georgia Champion Trees – full list
Intown Hawk – Condensed Atlanta and Georgia List

References and Additional Information

[1]  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Sassafras albidum
[2]  Wikipedia: Sassafras albidum
[3] Doug Tallamy: