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(Sassafras albidum)
Sassafras

Host Plant: Spicebush Swallowtail, but also hosts other swallowtail butterflies

Nectar Plant: many insects

Flower Color: white

Growth Habit: Deciduous tree that grows to 30-60 feet tall

Range in North America: Eastern North America

Exposure: Part sun

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Soil Requirements: Medium moist soil

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Sassafras (Sasssfras albidum)

Yellow flowers of sassafras (Sassafras albidum).
Yellow Flowers — USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab from Beltsville, Maryland, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

White Sassafras, Ague Tree, Lily-of-the-Valley Tree, Cinnamon Wood, Saloop

Description of Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), a member of the Lauraceae (Laurel Family), is a deciduous tree that grows to 70 feet tall and has green and yellow flowers that bloom in the spring.  Birds like to eat the fruits of this tree.  More information about Sassafras can be found on this blog post.

Hosted Species

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus troilus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus glaucus) on a purple flower.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Purple Flower — Meganmccarty, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes)

Palamedes swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) on purple flower.
Palamedes Swallowtail on Purple Flower — James Leon Young, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon)

Pale Swallowtail on a red flower
Pale Swallowtail on Red Flower — ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nectar Species

Many other insects use this species for nectar.

Habitat

This species grows in open woodlands, fields, roadsides, and waste areas.

Range of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) in the United States and Canada

Range map of Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) in the United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The species name, albidum, is Latin for white.  The tree can often form large clones.

Native Location

Ontario, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9

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