Sassafras, as you may know, is one of those unusual native trees that has variable leaf shapes. Three leaf types show up on the same tree: unlobed, single lobed, or double-lobed. These Sassafras albidum at Brooklyn Bridge Park all seem to leaf-out initially with the longish oval unlobed leaves, the lobed mitteny ones coming with the second wave. The roots of this species used to flavor root beer, until compounds in the root were found carcinogenic; artificial flavorings are now used mixed with corn syrup, which is no improvement in my book. Sassafras roots and bark are wonderfully aromatic, as medicine and cosmetic producers have long known.
- These were still Company employees, of course, during First Afghan War, 1839-42. 11 minutes ago
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This work by Matthew Wills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.