Genus: Platanus

Platanus occidentalis
Platanus occidentalis   L.  -  Sycamore

Photo © by Peter Nelson
Taken in Bucks Co., PA, 1992.

By Science Staff

Not peer reviewed

Last Modified 03/05/2013

Back to Platanaceae


Platanus L., Sp. Pl. 999. 1753. Gen. Pl., ed.5, 433. 1754. LECTOTYPE: Platanus orientalis L. Gleason (1908).

Key to the species of Platanus

1. Leaves mostly reniform; heads solitary; native on aluvial soils...Platanus occidentalis
1. Leaves more truncate or cordate at base; heads 2; often cultivated, especially along streets...Platanus ×hybrida

List of Platanus Species

References to Platanus

  • Al-Naib, F. A.-G.; Rice, E. L. 1971. Allelopathic effects of Platanus occidentalis. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 98: 75-82.
  • Baillon, H. 1871. Saxifragacees. Hist. Pl. 3: 325-464. (In French; see English translation by M.M. Hartog, Nat. Hist. Pl. 3: 323-464. 1874)
  • Baird, M. 1915. The anatomy of Platanus occidentalis. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 9: 281-90.
  • Bell, D. T.; Johnson, F. L. 1975. Phenological patterns in the trees of the streamside forest. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 102: 187-93.
  • Berry, E. W. 1914. Notes on the geological history of Platanus. Pl. World 17: 1-8.
  • Boothroyd, L. 1930. The morphology and anatomy of the inflorescence and flower of Platanaceae. Amer. J. Bot. 17: 678-93.
  • Brett, D. 1979. Ontogeny and classification of the stomatal complex of Platanus. Ann. Bot. (London) 44: 249-51.
  • Bretzler, E. 1924. Beitroge zur Kenntnis der Gattung platanus. Bot. Arch. 7: 388-417.
  • Briscoe, C. B.; Dubarry, A. P. 1959. A simplified germination test for American sycamore. Tree Pl. Notes 35: 21.
  • Brouwer, J. 1924. Studies in Platanaceae. Recueil Trav. Bot. Neerl. 21: 369-82.
  • Brush, W. D. 1917. Distinguishing characters of North American sycamore woods. Bot. Gaz. 64: 480-96.
  • Brush, W. D. 1920. Utilization of sycamore.
  • Carlson, R. W.; Bazzaz, F. A. 1977. Growth reduction in American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) caused by Pb-Cd interaction. Environm. Pollut., A. 12: 243-53.
  • Carpenter, R. J. 2005. Leaf cuticular morphology links Platanaceae and Proteaceae. Int. J. Plant Sci. 166: 843-855.
  • Coker, W. C. 1930. The bald cypress. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 46: 86-8. (Also Platanus & Liriodendron)
  • Ernst, W. R. 1963. The genera of Hamamelidaceae and Platanaceae in the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 44: 193-210.
  • Fox, W. S.; Soper, J. H. 1952. The distribution of some trees and shrubs of the Carolinian Zone of southern Ontario. Part I. Trans. Roy. Canad. Inst. 29: 65-84.
  • Gibson, H. H. 1905. American forest trees - 4. Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis L. Hardwood Rec. 19: 12-3.
  • Gleason, H. 1908. Platanaceae. In: North American Flora. Vol. 22. , 227-9 pages.
  • Gleason, H. A. 1938. Platanaceae. N. Amer. Fl. 22(3)
  • Glickstein, B. N.; Karnosky, D. F.; Mickler, R. A. 1982. The London plane tree decline problem in New York City: relative contributions of abiotic and biotic stresses. In: Proc. Urban and Suburban Trees: Pest Problems, Needs, Prospects and Solutions Conf. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI. , 68-9 pages.
  • Griggs, R. 1909. On the characters and relationships of Platanaceae. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 36: 369-95.
  • Grimm, G. W.; Denk, T. 2010. The reticulate origin of modern plane trees (Platanus, Platanaceae): a nuclear marker puzzle. Taxon 59: 134-147.
  • Hanna, W. J.; Grant, C. L. 1962. Spectrochemical analysis of the foliage of certain trees and ornamentals for 23 elements. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 89: 293-302.
  • Henry, A.; Flood, M. G. 1919. The history of the London plane, Platanus acerifolia, with notes on the genus Platanus. Proc. Roy. Irish Acad. 35: 9-28.
  • Hosner, J. F. 1959. Survival, root, and shoot growth of six bottomland tree species following flooding. J. Forest. 57: 927-8.
  • Hsiao, J. Y. 1973. A numerical taxonomic study of the genus Platanus based on morphological and phenolic characters. Amer. J. Bot. 60(7): 678-84. (Ref. Diss. Abstr. Int., B, 33(4):1424-1425. 1972.)
  • Hsiao, J. Y. 1972. Biochemical systematic and numerical taxonomic studies of the genus Platanus. Ph.D. Dissertation Univ. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA,
  • Hsiao, J. Y.; Li, H. L. 1975. A study of the leaf chromatograms of the London plane and its putative parent species. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 93: 234-9.
  • Huppuch, C. D. 1960. The effect of site preparation on survival and growth of sycamore cuttings.
  • Illick, J. S. 1922. The sycamores. Amer. Forests 28: 145-50.
  • Jaennicke, F. 1899. Studien uber die Gattung Platanus L. Nova Acta Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. German. Nat. Cur. 77: 113-226.
  • Jones, R. H.; McLeod, K. W. 1989. Shade tolerance in seedlings of Chines tallow tree, American sycamore, and cherrybark oak. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 116: 371-7.
  • Jones, R. H.; Sharitz, R. R. 1989. Potential advantages and disadvantages of germinating early for trees in floodplain forests. Oecologia 81: 443-9.
  • Jones, R. H.; Sharitz, R. R.; McLeod, K. W. 1989. Effects of flooding and root competition on growth of shaded bottomland hardwood seedlings. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 121: 165-75.
  • Lankau, R. 2010. Soil microbial communities alter allelopathic competition between Alliaria petiolata and a native species. Biological Invasions 12: 2059-2068.
  • Lawrey, J. D. 1977. Trace metal accumulation by plant species from a coal strip-mining area in Ohio. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 104: 368-375.
  • Leverett, R. 1997. The American sycamore. Wild Earth 7: 43-8.
  • Li, H. 1957. The origin and history of the cultivated plane-tree. Morris Arbor. Bull. 8: 3-9; 26-31.
  • Lodhi, M. A. K. 1977. The influence and comparison of individual forest trees on soil properties and possible inhibition of nitrification due to intact vegetation. Amer. J. Bot. 64(3): 260-4.
  • Matzke, E. B. 1936. The effect of street lights in delaying leaf-fall in certain trees. Amer. J. Bot. 23: 446-52.
  • McDermott, R. E. 1954. Effects of saturated soil on seedling growth of some bottomland hardwood species. Ecology 35: 36-41.
  • McDermott, R. E. 1953. Light as a factor in the germination of some bottomland hardwood species. J. Forest. 51: 203-4.
  • McMillan, C. 1974. Differentiation in habitat response in Taxodium distichum, T. nucronatum, Platanus occidentalis, and Liquidambar styraciflua from the United States and Mexico. Vegetatio 29: 1-10.
  • Moore, J. E.; Lacey, E. P. 2009. A comparison of germination and early growth of four early successional tree species of the southeastern United States in different soil and water regimes. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 162: 388-394.
  • Neely, D.; Himelick, E. B. 1963. Temperature and sycamore anthracnose severity. Pl. Dis. Reporter 47: 171-5.
  • O'Byrne, J. W. 1953. Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis. Va. Forests 8(2): 10-1.
  • Pinfield, N. J.; Stobart, A. K.; Crawford, R. M.; Beckett, A. 1973. Carbon assimilation by sycamore cotyledons during early seedling development. J. Exp. Bot. 24: 1203-7.
  • Pope, P. E. 1982. Interaction of soil pH and genotype on growth and nutrient uptake of sycamore seedlings. Canad. J. Forest Res. 12: 627-31.
  • Pope, P. E. 1980. Influence of Glomus fasciculatus mycorrhizae on some physical and chemical characteristics of Platanus occidentalis seedlings. Canad. J. Bot. 58: 1601-6.
  • Pope, P. E.; Chaney, W. R.; Rhodes, J. D.; Woodhead, S. H. 1983. The mycorrhizal dependency of four hardwood tree species. Canad. J. Bot. 61: 412-7.
  • Ratera, E. L. 1958. Contribución al estudio del polen del Platanus acerifolia Willd. Bol. Soc. Argent. Hort. 16(110): 73-6.
  • Renfroe, M. H.; Brown, R. W. 1983. Changes in cytokinin concentration during early development of American sycamore leaves. Canad. J. Bot. 61: 1931-4.
  • Rickett, H. W. 1947. How the American sycamore acquired its name. J. New York Bot. Gard. 48: 262.
  • Santamour, F. S. 1972. Interspecific hybridization in Platanus. Forest Sci. 18: 236-239.
  • Santamour, F. S.; Meyer, F. G. 1971. The oriental plane in the United States. Pl. Gard. 26(4): 42-3.
  • Sargent, C. S. 1889. What is a sycamore? Gard. & Forest 2: 349-50.
  • Sax, K. 1933. Species hybrids in Platanus and Campsis. J. Arnold Arbor. 14: 274-8.
  • Schaffner, J. H. 1925. Effect of lightning on trunk of Platanus occidentalis. Bot. Gaz. 80: 226-7.
  • Schoenland, S. 1883. Uber die Entwicklung der Bl³ten und Frucht bei den Platanen. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 4: 308-27. (In German)
  • Schrenk, N. von 1907. On frost injuries to sycamore buds. Annual Rep. Missouri Bot. Gard. 18: 81-3.
  • Shufeldt, R. W. 1917. Multiple button-balls. J. Heredity 8: 550-2.
  • Sigafoos, R. S. 1976. Relations among surficial material, light intensity, and sycamore seed germination along the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. J. Res. U. S. Geological Survey 4: 733-6.
  • Sullivan, J. 1994. Platanus occidentalis. ()
  • Tang, Z. C.; Kozlowski, T. T. 1982. Physiological, morphological, and growth responses of Platanus occidentalis seedlings to flooding. Pl. & Soil 66: 243-5.
  • Vrecenak, A. J.; Vodak, M. C.; Fleming, L. E. 1989. The influence of site factors on the growth of urban trees. J. Arboric. 15(9): 206-9.
  • Walters, G. L.; Williams, C. E. 1999. Riparian forest overstory and herbaceous layer of two upper Allegheny River islands in northwestern Pennsylvania. Castanea 64: 81-89.
  • Wells, O. O.; Toliver, J. R. 1987. Geographic variation in sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.). Silvae Genet. 36(3-4): 154-9.
  • von Balthazar, M.; Schonenberger, J. 2009. Floral structure and organization in Platanaceae. Int. J. Plant Sci. 170: 210-225.