Photo: Platanus occidentalis

Platanus occidentalis L.

Sycamore, American Sycamore

Habitat: Rich soil, especially in alluvial areas.

Range: Southwestern Maine to southern Michigan and southeastern Minnesota, south to Florida and Texas.

Ecological characteristics: Platanus occidentalis is a large tree of floodplain soils. The London Sycamore (or London Plane) is a planted species that sometimes escapes cultivation. It is known as Platanus hybrida Brot. and Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd. The origins of the London Sycamore are unclear; it is suggested that it is a hybrid of P. occidentalis and P. orientalis L., or that it is a cultivar of P. orientalis.

Phenology: Flowers late April to early June.

Family: Platanaceae

Synonyms: None noted.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Somerset. This record is based on a 1948 collection by Pease and Bean. The specimen resides at the New England Botanical Club Herbarium. The species is believed to be extirpated from Maine.