- It's a food source for wildlife.--In addition to munching on my Hostas, White-tailed deer (a constant presence in my yard) eat the leaves and twigs of this tree. It's also a host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly.
- It has a continuous seasonal interest--yellow clustered blooms in the spring, followed by blueish/black berries in the late summer and in fall its leaves turn a deep orange to red.
- What I find the most interesting or unusual about this tree is the fact that there are three different leaf shapes within the same tree (ovate, mitten shaped, three lobed)....
Friday, October 21, 2011
Shades of Autumn--Sassafras
Sassafras albidum-a Missouri native-is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows along the fence line of our property. Sassafras oil (obtained from the root bark or fruit) has been used as a tea, root beer flavoring and a thickening agent. In 1960, the oil was determined to contain a weak carcinogenic substance (safrole) and was banned by the FDA... I'm not going to try to brew a cup of tea from this tree on my property, but here's what I do like about the Sassafras tree: