Origin: North America, discovered in Florida by the Spanish in 1538, introduced to Europe in 1630, for medical aims. But it also grows in Brazil or in Guatemala, as well as in China (2 species). Height: 20 m tall.
entire deciduous leaves or cut up in 2 or 3 lobes, resembling that of the fig. They turn to yellow-orange in autumn. Species habitually dioecious, therefore carrying unisexual flowers, male on one plant, females of other one, but some plants bear hermaphrodite or bisexual flowers. Linear bracts with filiform. Fruits: ovoid, blue drupes. Uses: bark, leaf and root contain a essence with fragrance of orange and of vanilla (Safrol) which is used to fight against fever and as antiseptic, but also to perfume creams, lotions and ointments. With its leaves, the Indians Choctaw made soap.