Mystery plant 011

This tree is relatively short at maturity.  The leaves are its most striking feature.  When you can identify it, please post a comment with  both the common and scientific names.  Feel free to add other information or a personal story you have about this tree.

011-a

Leaves in the spring

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Leaves in the summer

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Tree in the fall

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Leaves in the fall

 

ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images):  Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

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2 Responses to Mystery plant 011

  1. Linda Baldwin says:

    This plant is known by most herbalist as Sassafras.
    It’s botanical name is Sassafras albidum.
    It has many other names … Ague Tree, Cinnamon Wood, saloop, fennel wood, Sassafrax and Saxifrax.

    My own personal experience is when I go blueberry picking every July and August at a blueberry farm near my home I also get to harvest buckets of this wonderful herb. Young saplings (2 ft.tall) growing wild in between the blueberry bushes and at the end of each row. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. Blueberries we had to pay for by the bucket: Sassafras by the bucket was free. The farmer didn’t even know what it was … ‘What are you going to do with a pile of weeds?’ The look on her face was priceless when I told her I was going to eat it.

    Sassafras has traditionally been used for treating high blood pressure, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, menstrual and kidney problems.

    To make a tea wash the soil off the sapling’s root, simmer 20 minutes in a covered
    pot, strain, and serve. The tea is also good chilled and a root beer can by made by adding seltzer water and sweetener to it.

    Sassafras was traditionally used in the food flavoring industry for preparations such as toothpastes, mouthwashes, tobacco and in flavoring sarsaparilla root beer.

    Dried sassafras leaves have long been an essential ingredient in Cajun cookery,
    being the chief constituent of gumbo file.

    The wood is used to make fencing, small boats and barrels.

    • Angelyn says:

      Linda, you are correct that this is Sassafras (Sassafras albidum). I, too, appreciate this plant in many different ways including as the tea you described here. I’ve also eaten the young leaves which have the wonderful sassafras flavor. Thanks for sharing your experiences with this plant.

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