Family: Platanaceae

Genus and species: Platanus occidentalis

Leaves: The leaves are quite large and rough to the touch. They are 4-8" (10-20cm) long and wide. (View Measured Leaf) They are very similar in shape to maples as they have 3-5 shallow, pointed lobes. The edges are wavy and have scattered, large teeth. They are green on top, paler and hairless beneath.(View Leaves)

Bark: The bark towards the top half of the tree is very smooth with peeling plates of various colors. The peeling flakes can vary from white, to tan, to brown in color. (View Bark at Top) At the bottom of the tree, the bark is dark brown with many furrows and ridges.(View Bark at Bottom) The twigs are greenish and slender.

Fruit: The fruit is a brown, spherical object,1" (2.5cm) in diameter. It has a long stem that it hangs from and contains many nutlets with hair tufts.

Tree: This is a very large tree and can grow to be 60-100' (18-30m) tall, has a straight trunk and a rounded crown with crooked branches, as pictured to the left.

Range and Habitat: These trees are commonly found from Maine, south to Florida, west to Texas and north to Nebraska. They are usually found in wet soils.

Sycamore Tree (Greenwich, NY, 10/18/02)
Go Home

Return to Lobed Leaves Page