Lindera camphorata H.Lév.
Lindera tzumu Hemsl.
Litsea laxiflora Hemsl.
Pseudosassafras laxiflorum (Hemsl.) Nakai
Pseudosassafras tzumu (Hemsl.) Lecomte
Sassafras tzumu is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 35 metres tall. The bole can be 200 - 500cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and is also valued for its ornamental timber. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
The extracted essential oil (as is the case with most essential oils in common use) is poisonous in large quantities[
The essential oil contains up to 97% safrole which is considered to be carcinogenic and potentially harmful to the liver[
]. It is also suspected of causing contact dermatitis and of being hallucinogenic, especially in large doses[
E. Asia - eastern and southern China
Always growing in sparse or dense forests; at elevations from 100 - 1,900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Sassafras tzumu is a relatively hardy tree when dormant, so long as the season's new growth has been properly ripened by summer heat. In regions with cool summers, the wood remains soft and is likely to be damaged by cold and wind in the winter[
Grows best in a warm, sheltered, sunny position in a deep, fertile, moist but well-drained soil[
The tree can produce vigorous new growth each year, with new shoots up to 2 metres long, though this can be cut back by winter cold, especially if the summer was cool and wet[
The roots and bark are used medicinally for treating traumatic injuries and rheumatic disorders[
The fruits, leaves, and roots contain essential oil; the roots contain ca. 1%, and its main component is safrole[
]. There are reports that the essential oil can comprise up to 97% safrole.
The wood is yellowish, finely grained, durable, and used for boat and furniture-making[
]. A valuable timber tree, producing high-quality wood with a beautiful grain. The wood is valued for furniture manufacturing and veneering[
Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame[
]. Stored seed requires 4 months cold stratification at 4°c[
]. It is best sown as early in the year as possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as possible and grow them on in the greenhouse. One report says to harden off the plants as soon as possible[
], but young plants are frost-tender[
] and so we recommend growing them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and then planting them out in early summer. Give the young trees some protection for at least their first winter outdoors[
Root cuttings, taken from suckers, 1 - 2cm long taken in December. Plant horizontally in pots in a greenhouse[
Suckers in late winter. Plant straight out into their permanent positions[