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Platanus occidentalis

Pronunciation: Plat-an-us ok-sih-den-tay-liss
Family: Platanaceae (sycamore family)
Common Name: Sycamore, american sycamore, buttonwood, american planetree
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 100'
Width to: 10'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The flowers are tiny and arranged in dense heads about a half inch in diameter. The fruits are packed in greenish (turning brown) spherical clusters about 1. 5 in (3. 8 cm) in diameter which hang on stalks 3-6 cm (7. 5-15. 2 cm) long. The mottled brown, green, gray and white exfoliating bark and the distinctive ball-like fruit clusters, some of which remain on the tree in winter after the leaves have fallen, make the sycamore one of the most well known trees in america.
Propagation: By seed or by hardwood cuttings taken in winter.
Notes for Identification: Due to their large size and habit of shedding leaves, seed balls, and bark, sycamores are best suited for use in large landscapes. They often are used as street trees, and in public parks. Sycamores tolerate compacted soil and air pollution, and can withstand heavy pruning. They are, however, bothered by several insects and fungus diseases, which may weaken trees, but rarely kill them. London planetree, which is more tolerant of most problems, is often used in cities instead of american sycamore.
Located in: Seed Photos
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