Mt Cuba Center
Morning sunrise illuminates the round garden at Mt. Cuba Center.
Explore the Gardens Virtual Tour Virtual Tour

Thanks for a great year! Mt. Cuba Center is closed for general admission for the season and will reopen on April 3, 2024.

An ecological gardening certificate student completes a Native Plants of Fall exam in Mt. Cuba Center's naturalistic gardens.
Ecological Gardening Certificate Learn More Learn More
Program Guide

Classes offered year-round. Learn to garden in harmony with nature, take an art or wellness class, and more!

Carex barrattii
Latest Trial: Carex for the Mid-Atlantic Region Learn More Learn More
Trial Garden

Mt. Cuba Center evaluates native plants and related cultivars for horticultural and ecological value.

Mt. Cuba Center's natural lands pictured at sunset.
Protecting Natural Lands Learn More Learn More
Ecological Land Management

Mt. Cuba conserves and stewards more than 1,000 acres including meadows, forests, streams and riparian corridors.

Two guests walk down the West Slope path in spring at Mt. Cuba Center.
Gift a Membership Gift Guide Gift Guide

Enjoy unlimited general admission, member discounts, guest passes, and more!

Mt Cuba Center
Back to list

Sassafras albidum

Native Plants

Common Sassafras

4 Photos


Everything that a tree can provide for people and wildlife alike can be found in common sassafras. It presents a wonderful texture in the garden with its large, multi-formed leaves, deeply furrowed, mahogany colored bark and horizontally layered branching pattern. Not only does this tree have a sweet and fruity aroma in its leaves, twigs and flowers, but the brilliant autumnal colors of the leaves create a spectacular show, turning hues of scarlet, orange and yellow. Common sassafras typically reaches 30-40’ tall and does best in sunny areas with well drained soils, but can also tolerate some shade. Plant it with Viburnum acerifolium, Hamamelis virginiana, Vaccinium angustifolium, Carex pensylvanica, Deschampsia flexuosa, and Gaultheria procumbens.

More Details

  • Plant Type
  • Sun/Shade Conditions
    filtered-shade, full-sun 
  • Foliage Character
  • Soil Moisture
    average, dry, moist 
  • Flowering Period
  • Soil PH
  • Flower Color
  • Summer Foliage Color
  • Fall Foliage Color
    green, orange, red, yellow 
  • Fruit/Seed Color