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Gumbo filé, Sassafras
Scientific Name: Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees
Synonym: Laurus albidus, Laurus sassafras, Sassafras officinale, Sassafras sassafras, Sassafras variifolium
Family: Lauraceae
Gumbo filé, Sassafras (Sassafras  albidum)
Picture U.S.D.A Forest Service, Courtesy of the Hunt Institute
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 3-9,14-17
USDA: 4-9

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Origin: Eastern North America, from Ontario south to Florida and Texas

Growth Habits: Small to medium-sized deciduous tree, 30 to 60 feet tall (9-18 m), 20-40 feet spread (6-12 m); root suckering; brown scented bark, coarsely, ridged and furrowed; fragrant leaves, 3 to 6 inches long with 1 to 3 lobes, turning brilliant yellow, orange, or red in the fall

Watering Needs: Regular water, prefers a soil slightly acid

Propagation: Fresh seeds in the fall, suckers in late winter, difficult to transplant because of its tap root, when injured during transplant, or when grown from suckers, tend to sucker heavily

The leaves are used in Cajun and Creole cooking. The root oil was used to flavor root beer.

Picture U.S.D.A Forest Service, Courtesy of the Hunt Institute

Blooming Habits:
Dioecious, they bear yellowish green flowers on 2 inches long racemes in early spring.

Fruiting Habits:
Female trees bear dark blue, ovoid, fleshy drupes on red stalks. They mature in late summer.

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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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