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Botanical Name: Platanus x acerifolia
Common Name: London Planetree
Origin: Garden Origin
Notable Feature: The signature ornamental feature of this huge tree is its brown bark that exfoliates to reveal its creamy white inner bark. Mature trees typically display this mottled white bark that facilitates identification from great distances.
Habit: A deciduous tree that is pyramidal in youth, developing a large, open, wide spreading outline with massive branches. Grows 70 to 100 feet in height with a spread of 65 to 80 feet.
Flower: In April flowers are borne in one to three, dense spherical inflorescences on a pendulous stem, with the yellowish male flowers and the reddish female flowers on separate stems (monoecious).
Fruit: Tan, 1” wide, furry ball, typically found in pairs. Ripening in October and persisting late into winter when it breaks apart dispersing its seeds, often in downy tufts, floating in the wind.
Foliage: Alternate, 5 to 9” long and just as wide, 3- to 5-lobed, coarsely toothed and leathery. Flat medium to dark green above, paler beneath. Turns a yellow-brown in fall.
Interesting Fact: This tree is the result of a cross between Platanus orientalis (Oriental Planetree) and Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore). First record of the tree was in 1661 when the hybrid was found growing in London. A magnificent allée can be seen at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.