As a retired teacher I substituted for a few years and used to like to bring in natural objects for discussion.
At the time I dug up some old sassafras roots by accident and smelled root beer in the air. I cut up coins of roots using my chop saw, drilled a hole in the top of the coin and attached a string to it for a sassafras necklace which I gave to each of the students. Any time they wanted that sweet smell they could lift it up to their noses and get a great whiff with a gentle rub.
I discovered the beautiful native sassafras growing in upstate S.C. just over the past few years. Identifying and discovering new native plants has become an addiction.
The sassafras tree has so many wonderful attributes, it's hard to list them all. It makes a great landscape plant and has interest during all seasons. I love how some leaves are oblong, others are 2 and 3 lobed. I've found several established sassafras growing in a nearby wooded area and fortunately wildlife has helped my effort by planting several on my wooded property. I had to protect the young seedlings for the first few years because rabbits or dear love to browse on them. I've found that sassafras prefer part-shade here versus full sun and have done very well thus far.
I always love reading your articles Sharran and definitely plan to dig up some roots to make sassafras tea very soon. I just may grab a twig or two while I'm at it.