Plant Index


 
 
 

Platanus occidentalis

Platanus occidentalis L.

american sycamore, plane-tree, sycamore

Synonym(s): Platanus occidentalis var. glabrata
Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore)
Image ID: 16342
Image by: Sorrie, Bruce A.
Image Collection: NCBG Digital Library

PLANT INDEX

ID_PLANT: PLOC
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Platanus occidentalis
Include in WOTAS: 0
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2019-12-01

GENUS INDEX

GENUS CODE: PLATA
GENUS SCIENTIFIC: Platanus
GENUS AUTHORITY: L.
GENUS COMMON: Sycamore
GENUS SUMMARY: A genus of about 7 species (and several additional infrataxa), trees, of North America south to Central America and w. Asia to se. Asia.
GENUS IDENTIFICATION: Identification notes: The exposed white inner bark on the middle and upper trunks make Platanus occidentalis recognizable at long distances, especially in winter.
GENUS REFERENCES: Kaul in FNA (1997); Grimm & Denk (2010)=Y; Nixon & Poole (2003)=Z; Kubitzki in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).

FAMILY INDEX

FAMILY CODE: PLATAN
FAMILY SCIENTIFIC: Platanaceae
FAMILY AUTHORITY: Dumortier 1829
FAMILY COMMON: Plane-tree Family
FAMILY SUMMARY: A family of a single genus and about 7 species (and several addional infrataxa), trees, of North America south to Central America and w. Asia to se. Asia. Probably with a close relationship to the Proteaceae (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2009), and sometimes included there (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998, 2003).
FAMILY REFERENCE: Kaul in FNA (1997); Kubitzki in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES

INTRO:
STEMS: Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) brown or green, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent, stellate. Twigs (2–4 years old) glabrous. Leaf scars horseshoe-shaped, bundle scars 5–9 per leaf scar, stipule scars present, stipule scars circumferential. Bark of mature trunks exfoliating or flaky or furrowed or ridged or smooth. Buds axillary or infrapetiolar, brown, 6–10 mm long, conic, blunt, glabrous, bud scales imbricate or single scale.
LEAVES: Leaves deciduous, simple, petiolate, alternate, 6–20(–35) cm long, 6–25(–40) cm wide, orbiculate or oval or reniform, leaf margins serrate, unlobed or shallowly lobed or moderately lobed or deeply lobed, palmately lobed, leaf lobes (1–)3–5(–7) per leaf, leaf apices acuminate or acute, leaf bases cordate or cuneate or truncate. Leaf upper surface green, glabrate or pubescent, stellate or tomentose. Leaf lower surface green, glabrate or pubescent or with tufts in vein axils, stellate or tomentose. Leaf venation palmate. Petioles 5–12 cm long, glabrous or pubescent. Stipules present, 25–38 mm long, caducous, blade-like, circumferential.
INFLORESCENCE: Inflorescences axillary, heads, flowers sessile or stalked.
FLOWERS: Flowers unisexual or pistillate or staminate, hypogynous. Perianth. Calyx radially symmetric. Sepals 3–8 per flower. Corolla radially symmetric. Petals 3–8 per flower. Androecium. Stamens 3–8 per flower, separate, staminodes present. Gynoecium. Ovaries superior, pistils 3–9 per flower. Gynoecium apocarpous, 3–9 carpels per flower, styles 1 per pistil, styles 1.5–6 mm long, placentation parietal.
FRUITS: Fruits accessory fruits or achenes or aggregate fruits, (0.3–)2–3(–3.8) cm long, brown or tan, fruit maturation 1 years.
COMMENTS: Mature bark peeling away in thin sheets exposing whitish, greenish or yellowish new bark, on older trunks becoming dark brown and scaly or fissured; new buds developing inside the base of the petiole and remaining hidden until the leaf falls; fruits in globose heads that often persist on the tree through the winter.
HEIGHT: 75-100 feet

DURATION: Perennial
HABIT: Tree

LEAF ARRANGEMENT: Alternate
LEAF COMPLEXITY: Simple
LEAF RETENTION: Deciduous

FLORAL CHARACTERISTICS
SYMMETRY:
BLOOM TIME: March or April or May or June.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x x

BLOOM COLOR:
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x x x x

FRUITING PERIOD: Sep-Nov.

DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE: Bottomlands, Disturbed, Moist forests, Woods margins
NATIVE RANGE: eastern North America

HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: The American sycamore is a wide-canopied, deciduous tree with a massive trunk and open crown of huge, crooked branches. The bark of large, old trunks sloughs off in scales or plates leaving a smooth, whitish inner bark. Globular fruits often persist through December. Large, medium- to dark-green, maple-shaped leaves turn brown in fall. A shade tree, Sycamore grows to a larger trunk diameter than any other native hardwood. The hollow trunks of old, giant trees were homes for chimney swifts in earlier times. This genus supports up to 42 lepidoptera species.

Bloom Table Text:

NCBG Location:

Cultural Notes:

SOIL MOISTURE: Dry, Average, Moist/Wet
LIGHT EXPOSURE: Sun, Part Shade, Shade
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 4
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9
GERMINATION CODE:
WILDLIFE VALUE: Bee Friendly, Bird Friendly
DEER RESISTANCE:

GRIM ACCESSIONS

acc_id acc_num acc_dt coll_id Action
205 2011-0017 2011-01-27 204 View
3801 1991-0496 View
4505 1992-0661 View
4973 1995-0091 View
5162 1995-0281 View
5740 1995-0866 View
6242 1995-1374 View
7462 2000-0207 2000-05-16 View


GRIM COLLECTIONS

Coll_id Project Collection date Collector Action
204 HORT 2011-01-25 Tomberlin View


GRIM PLANTINGS

plt_num acc_id loc_num pers_num inst_dt Action
416 205 46 NCBG staff 2011-01-25 View
6110 3801 199 NCBG staff 0000-00-00 View
6833 4505 200 NCBG staff 1993-03-01 View
7392 4973 202 NCBG staff 1992-01-01 View
7592 5162 203 NCBG staff 1992-01-01 View
7593 5162 203 NCBG staff 1992-01-01 View
8254 5740 204 NCBG staff 1993-01-01 View
8897 6242 2 NCBG staff 0000-00-00 View
10470 7462 158 NCBG staff 2000-04-26 View

USDA PLANTS DATABASE

USDA Symbol: PLOC
USDA Common Name: American Sycamore
Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Distribution: USA (AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV), CAN (ON)
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Tree

NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUS

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW FAC FACW FAC FACW FACW

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast

WEAKLEY FLORA

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Platanus occidentalis
COMMON NAME: Sycamore, Plane-tree
SYNONYMY: [= Mo, Va, Y; = P. occidentalis var. occidentalis - Z; < P. occidentalis - C, FNA, G, GW, K, Pa, RAB, S, W, WH3, WV; > P. occidentalis var. occidentalis - F; > P. occidentalis var. glabrata (Fernald) Sargent - F]
PHENOLOGY: Apr-Jun; Sep-Nov.
HABITAT: Riverbanks and alluvial forests, streambanks, sometimes weedy on rocky roadcuts.
COMMENTS: S. ME west to s. ON, MI, and MN, south to Panhandle FL and TX. One of the largest trees in e. North America, and probably the largest that is widespread in the Piedmont of our area. P. palmeri Kuntze, sometimes treated as P. occidentalis var. palmeri (Kuntze) Nixon & Poole ex Geerinck, but better interpreted as a species (Grimm & Denk 2010), occurs from central TX south into Coahuila.
RANGE MAP: Platanus occidentalis.png

Key to Map Symbols
ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Platanaceae Dumortier 1829 (Plane-tree Family)
SUMMARY: A family of a single genus and about 7 species (and several addional infrataxa), trees, of North America south to Central America and w. Asia to se. Asia. Probably with a close relationship to the Proteaceae (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 2009), and sometimes included there (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998, 2003).
REFERENCE: Kaul in FNA (1997); Kubitzki in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Platanus L. (Sycamore)
SUMMARY: A genus of about 7 species (and several additional infrataxa), trees, of North America south to Central America and w. Asia to se. Asia.
REFERENCE: Kaul in FNA (1997); Grimm & Denk (2010)=Y; Nixon & Poole (2003)=Z; Kubitzki in Kubitzki, Rohwer, & Bittrich (1993).

HERBARIUM RESOURCES

SERNEC: Find Platanus occidentalis in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Platanus occidentalis in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES

USDA: Find Platanus occidentalis in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Platanus occidentalis in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Platanus occidentalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Platanus occidentalis

NCBG IMAGE RECORDS

ID IMAGE1: 16342
ID IMAGE2: 16341
ID IMAGE3: 16344

From the Image Gallery


Image ID: 16341

Image ID: 16345

Image ID: 16346

Image ID: 38524

Image ID: 38525

Image ID: 38526

Image ID: 38528

Image ID: 16343

Image ID: 16344

Image ID: 11677

Image ID: 38527
12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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