Sycamores / Plane Trees
Genus: Platanus
Family: Platanaceae

There are only two common species in the genus Platanus and both are found on the Reed campus.

Platanus x acerifolia
London Plane Tree

This tree is a hybrid between the American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and the Oriental Plane Tree (Platanus orientalis). It has attractive maple-like leaves and particularly handsome bark that flakes off in green and ivory patches, although it can get rather bumpy and warty when the tree ages. A fast grower, it is a tough and versatile tree that withstands virtually any abuse and is a favorite for planting in difficult places.

Maps: 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 31, 32, 33


Platanus occidentalis
American Sycamore

Also known as the Buttonwood, Buttonball tree, and American Planetree, this tree is native to the eastern U.S., south to northern Florida and Texas. Leaves are 3 and sometimes 5-lobed, flat medium green in summer; fall color is tan to brown. The hard wood of the American Sycamore is often used for butcher blocks. Its bark is distinctive: on older trees it peels and flakes, leaving a lighter underbark. This tree can reach enormous heights of 150 feet in its native habitat and up to 100 feet in the city. It is one parent of the London Plane tree.

Maps: 22, 27