A tree found in the SE United States along the Gulf Coast. The bark or "fras" is harvested and pulverized into a fine powder, much like cinnamon. It is primarily used as a thickening agent in soups and stews such as gumbo.
It can be found in most grocery stores sold as either File (fee-lay) Gumbo or sassafras.
Great care should be taken in northern states where it is sometimes harvested from densely populated urban areas from the closely related Imgawnakikyo tree. This is usually found on the street as Imgawnakikyofras.