Sassafras albidum seeds
Sassafras albidum belongs to the family of the Lauraceae, the laurel family. It is also known as white sassafras, red sassafras and silky sassafras. It is native to the eastern part of the USA. S. albidium grows as a tree and reaches a height of 30 m under good environmental conditions. The bark is grayish and has deep furrows. The leaves are oval with two lobes. Sometimes the leaves are simple without lobes. On one tree different leaf forms are possible. The leaves get 10 cm long and are deep green at the upper side and bluish green at the bottom side. In fall the color changes from green to yellow over orange to red. The colorful leaves in fall are one reason why the red sassafras is a popular ornamental plant. There are fossils from leaves of the white sassafras known. The flowers are very small and inconsiderable yellow green in color. The flowers are diecious meaning that there are male and female flowers on different individuals. One needs always two plants for reproduction. The flowers stand in inflorescences in the leaf axilla. They have an odor that reminds a bit of lemon. After the successful pollination a dark blue stone fruit develops from the flower. It contains just one seed and reaches just 1 cm in diameter. The fruit has a brightly red stalk that is thickened directly under the fruit. An extract of the roots of the white sassafras was in former times a component of the famous American root beer. Nowadays it is forbidden to use this extract because researchers found out that the substance safrol is toxic effect on the liver of rats. Now one synthesizes the sassafras aroma chemically. The natives of America used the extract to improve their tea. The white sassafras was one of the first herbs that came from the new world to Europe.
Growing Sassafras from seeds
The seeds of the red sassafras need several pretreatments. First of all they should be put into water for 24 to 48 h. After that they can be planted into the substrate. The implanted seeds have then to be stratified meaning that they should be put into the fridge for 3 to 4 month. In the fridge there should be a temperature around 4°C. After stratification at a temperature of about 20°C germination will occur. The germination time can strongly vary. As an alternative the seeds of the silky sassafras can be sown out in outside in fall so that they experience a natural cold period. S. albidum is winter hardy.
- Additional Information
amount of seeds 10 pieces