you identify it by the mitten shape of the leaf and the smell of root beer at the roots. Collect the leaves in fall to crush and make "gumbo file", which thickens soups and stews. Use the roots to make sassafras tea.
Sassafras in backyard Be aware that sassafras is now banned by the FDA and also by the DEA) It is a natural, low glycemic sweetener, perfect for diabetics. It is much better than aspartame and as good as Stevia.
Sassafras is a medium to large-sized tree. It is known for producing vibrantly colored flowers and budding small cerulean colored fruit, it stands hardy throughout the fall and winter seasons, and blooms beautifully during the spring and summer.