Sassafras

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by lordtriffid, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. lordtriffid

    lordtriffid Member

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    Hi there, I was just wondering if anyone here has tried growing Sassafras albidum, or has come across it anywhere in Metro-Vancouver?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Contributor 10 Years

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  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I can't recall if it is growing in the Carolinian Forest at UBC Botanical Garden. Maybe Eric will be able to look it up and reply (I'm on vacation at the moment) sometime this week to let you know if you can see it at UBC.
     
  4. lordtriffid

    lordtriffid Member

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    That's great, thank you!
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    There are three accessions of Sassafras albidum listed in the database at the garden. One is dead and two are new and still at the nursery, so not yet on display. The dead plant appears to have been in the garden for around 20 years, but I can't confirm that. Sometimes areas of the garden have not been inventoried for a while and plants may have been dead for a while before it is reported and entered into the database.

    Interestingly, I find an old accession of Sassafras tzumu in an area that has not seen an inventory for several years. I will have to go looking for that one. I will report back.
     
  6. tallclover

    tallclover Member

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    My neighbor planted one about 10 years ago and it's quite a looker, though slow grower. No suckers to speak of and a lush canopy of irregular leaves. It's about 15 feet tall now and that's down in Seattle.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Two big ones (45' or more tall, with trunks 8' or more around) were measured in Tacoma during the 1990's. One of these could be seen easily west of interstate 5 while driving that freeway. I do not know if it is still there. The tallest of a grouping in Seattle's Seward Park was measured as having reached 88' about 5 years ago.
     
  8. lordtriffid

    lordtriffid Member

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    That's interesting to hear that they do quite well in Seattle, or I'm assuming they do, based on your description of heights and growth rates.

    I'm particularly interested in selections that come from the Ridge and Valley region of the Appalachians, as well as the Great Smoky Mountains, and Sand Mountain Plateau; I have a feeling that these, pawpaws and the various Magnolias (M. fraseri, in particular) that are native to these areas may be better suited to the PNW then selections from lower, surrounding areas.

    I also like the idea of using the leaves to make gumbo file, rather than paying ridiculous prices for it at Urban Fare, only to discover that it doesn't quite thicken my gumbo like it's suppose to.
     
  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I get my gumbo filé from a person who sells cajun spices at the Portland Saturday Market -- yum! I can't recall if the prices are ridiculous or not... hmm...aha, $15 for a 16oz. bottle -- is that ridiculous compared to Urban Fare?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All the eastern North American deciduous magnolias grow fine here, does not matter if it is upland M. fraseri or lowland M. pyramidata, northern M. acuminata or southern M. acuminata var. subcordata...
     
  11. Roy Sinn

    Roy Sinn Member

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    I'm thinking of Sassafras Albidum for a shady, frost-pocket in Burnaby. I saw Silver Surfers' comment about suckers. Any other cautionary notes that would apply to this tree in my area? Is it available somewhere in the Metro Vancouver area?
     
  12. Okra

    Okra Member

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    I bought one 2 years ago at Seedy Saturday at Van Dusen gardens. Not sure the name of who sold it to me; someone there with a table and various edibles. Planted it in East Van on the boulevard strip in front of my house, figuring nobody would recognize it as a food plant. It's still small (was just a stick when I bought it) but quite a live and growing slowly.
     

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