Growing Sassafras

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Image retrieved from on March 15th, 2014.

Formerly Sassafras officinale. Usually a small, slender tree, but sometimes growing 60-100 feet tall. The leaves are ovate, 5 inches long, and sometimes 3-lobed. Its flowers are yellow, in 2-inch-long racemes, followed by dark blue fruit, on bright red stalks. native from main to Florida and Texas.

Cultivation and Propagation: Sassafras may be easily grown throughout the U.S. in almost any soil. It may be propagated by seeds sown as soon as they are ripe, suckers, and root cuttings. because of its long taproots, it is not easily transplanted when old. In the North it prefers a warm sunny location.

Harvesting The soil may be cleared away from a portion of the roots and the root-bark peeled away. The inner bark should not be damaged, so that the roots can grow new bark. Another method is to harvest the entire root, as the pith of the root, although weaker, has the same properties as the bark. With any method the tree should be given time to recover and grow new roots before harvesting again.

pp. 58-59 Growing the Hallucinogens by Hudson Grubber (1973)