Three species of deciduous, aromatic trees, branches initially smooth and green. Leaves alternate, entire or with 1-3 lobes, one-lobed leaves appear mitten-shaped. Flowers unisexual or bisexual, several in a cluster before leaves appear, calyx 6-lobed, corolla absent, male flower has 9 stamen, female flower has one style and 6 stamenodes (sterile stamens). Fruit an ovate drupe on a fleshy stalk.
Native to eastern North America (S. albidum) and eastern Asia (S. tzumu anf S. randaiense)
Sassafras: possibly an adaptation of a Native American name or from the Spanish salsafras.