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North American Sassafras · Sassafras albidum

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Location: Maynard, MA; near Green Meadow School

So far I’ve only found this Sassafras leaf, but the tree it came from can’t be far. This is not a common tree around here. Days after finding this, I spotted a full tree about 30 miles southeast in Sharon, MA, at Moose Hill Farm. I’m going to keep looking around here until I find this tree. Sassafras oil was traditionally used to flavor root beer, but was outlawed for use in foods by the FDA in 1960 because it is a carcinogen. Another oddity of this tree is that it has three different leaf shapes on the same tree. The more common shape has 3 lobes instead of two.

Sassafras albidum at Wikipedia