Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees., Lauraceae

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Common name: Sassafras.

Voucher: Kostadinov 171, (URV)

Brief description: An aromatic dioecious shrub or small to medium-sized tree, the bark becoming deeply furrowed. Leaves are highly variable in form, often asymmetrical simple, alternate, ovate and entire to palmately lobed, with three main veins, silky beneath, margins entire. Flowers are unisexual, greenish-yellow, in several-flowered racemes, flowering before the leaves come out. Fruits are ellipsoid, blue drupe. The roots of the plants were originally used to prepare an extract added to the soft drink root beer.

Campus data: Frequent as undergrowth in the wild woods on campus. Not cultivated.