Aromatic deciduous tree. Twigs green, glabrescent, rounded, moderate; pith moderate, white, continuous. Buds usually solitary, ovoid, sessile, subglobose; scales about 4. Leaf-scars alternate, small, half-round or crescent-shaped; bundle-trace a horizontal line more or less broken into 3; stipule-scars lacking. Fruit an oblong-globose blue drupe.
Fig. 110. Sassafras albidum.
1. S. albidum (Nutt.) Nees. White Sassafras. A rough-barked tree 4-38 m. high, 3-9 dm. in diameter; twigs yellowish-green, glabrous, often glaucous; fruit a black drupe, persisting until early winter. Var. molle (Raf.) Feirnaid,Red Sassafras, has the twigs closely pubescent or puberulent. (S. variifolium (Salisb.) Ktze.; S. officinale Nees and Eberm.) Sassafras tea is prepared in winter from the bark of the root. Woods,Maine to Indiana and Iowa, south to Florida and Texas; often spreading aggressively and becoming weed-like (Fig. 110).