Sassafras is a widespread tree and grows all over the eastern U.S. It is distinguished by its aromatic properties, which have made the tree useful to humans. Sassafras trees grow from 30–115 feet tall with many slender branches, and smooth, orange-brown or yellow bark. All parts of the plants are fragrant. The species are unusual in having three distinct leaf patterns on the same plant. Sassafras leaves are either oval (with no lobes), mitten-shaped (with two lobes) or dinosaur foot-shaped (with three lobes). You might find all three leaf shapes growing on a single slender branch. Sassafras is a traditional ingredient in real root beer.
The trees have striking fall color. The leaves will turn bright golden yellow, deep red and brilliant purple.