Platanus × acerifolia ( syn. Platanus × hispanica) Platanaceae
London Planetree PLAT-a-nuz a-ser-e-FO-lee-a
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, 70-100 ft (21-30 m), open, spreading with age. Bark exfoliates and is cream, olive, light brown, best asset of the tree. Leaves alternate, simple, 3-5 lobed, 15-18 cm x 20-25 cm, triangular-ovate or broad triangular. Flowers appear in spring, in dense globose clusters, monoecious, and male (yellowish) and female (reddish) clusters are somewhat similar in appearance. Fruit is a small achene, many densely packed into globose clusters about 2.5 cm in diameter, they remain on the tree long after leaves have fallen.
- Sun or light shade. Prefers deep, rich, moist, well-drained soil, but will grow in about anything. Withstands high pH, and pollution, and grime of cities. Susceptible to anthrachnose and powdery mildew, which may disfigure the leaves in early summer. Widely planted in London. It withstands heavy pruning and is frequently pollarded.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Found growing in London in 1663, a cross between
Platanus orientalis (Oriental Planetree) and Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore).
Platanus orientalis can be very difficult to distinguish from its American parent. Distinguishing features include: P. × acerifolia leaves have deeper sinuses, lobes of leaves are about as long as wide (P. occidentalis lobes wider than long), and fruit clusters are mostly in pairs (P. occidentalis clusters mostly solitary).
- Platanus: the Greek name for P. orientalis. acerifolia: leaves like those of Acer.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: many on Jefferson Ave., east of 15th St.