The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Sassafras trees Lauraceae

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Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Laurace�. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) Enneandria, Monogynia. The Sassafras is a neat tree of the middle size, belonging to the same family as the European laurel or Sweet bay; it is found, more or less plentifully, through the whole territory of the United States. In favorable soils, along the banks of the Hudson, it often grows to 40 or 50 feet in height; but in the woods it seldom reaches that altitude. The flowers are yellow, and appear in small clusters in May, and the fruit is a small, deep blue berry, seated on a red footstalk or cup. The bark of the wood and roots has an agreeable smell and taste, and is a favorite ingredient, with the branches of the spruce, in the small beer made by the country people. Medicinally, it is considered antiscorbutic and sudorific; and is thought efficacious in purifying the blood. It was formerly in great repute with practitioners abroad, and large quantities of the bark of the roots were shipped to England; but the demand has of late greatly decreased.