American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

1 company sells this plant

Common names:
Give a thumbs up American Sycamore
Give a thumbs up Sycamore
Give a thumbs up Buttonwood
Give a thumbs up American Planetree
Give a thumbs up Plane-Tree

Botanical names:
Platanus occidentalis Accepted
Platanus occidentalis var. palmeri Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 75-100 feet
Plant Spread: 75-100 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: Sycamore is generally regarded to be the most massive tree indigenous to eastern North America. The large 3-5 lobed medium to dark green leaves (4-10 wide) have coarse marginal teeth. In fall, foliage typically turns an undistinguished yellow-brown.
Fruit: Showy
Other: Fuzzy, long-stalked, spherical fruiting balls (to 1 3/8 diameter) that ripen to brown in October and persist into early winter. Each fruiting ball consists of numerous, densely-packed, tiny seed-like fruits (achenes). Fruiting balls gradually disintegr
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Other: Yellow (male) and red (female)
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Other: April
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Shade Tree
Water gardens
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Containers: Not suitable for containers


The Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP MembersThe Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP Members
March 15, 2014

Here's a report of the most popular water garden plants from our database!

(Full article14 comments)
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Posted by Marilyn (Northern KY - Zone 6a) on Feb 6, 2012 11:31 PM

When I was growing up in Centerville, OH (a southern suburb of Dayton, OH), my parents planted an American Sycamore on their quarter-acre lot, as well as other types of trees. My dad planted it within a year of building the house and they had the house for 16 years. As the years went by, that tree shaded the whole house in the summer so well that the AC didn't have to be used.

Then, when they moved to Lebanon, OH, and built another house, they already had American Sycamores growing on their 5-acre property.

I always loved seeing those beautiful trees! To this day, whenever I see an American Sycamore, I remember the wonderful trees growing in the Centerville and the Lebanon yards!

DH and I don't have a large enough yard to grow this wonderful tree, but if we did, we'd grow it!

Love the peelings on the bark and the distinctive white bark color underneath the peelings!

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Mar 25, 2012 3:55 PM

Honey bees get light olive pollen and honeydew from this plant.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Love your pic Chelle! by Marilyn Feb 7, 2012 5:59 PM 2
Wonderful photo! by plantladylin Aug 11, 2013 1:53 PM 4
Not river birch by growitall Aug 18, 2014 8:43 AM 2
Beautiful!!! by TsFlowers Nov 9, 2017 1:32 PM 5
Be-a-u-T-i-ful!! by TsFlowers Nov 8, 2017 12:13 PM 2
american sweetgum? by KTINPINK May 17, 2018 4:44 PM 11
Floral Alphabet Soup! Minding your Ps and Q's. by KatEnns Mar 27, 2018 2:09 AM 29
Oak Tree - what kind by TsFlowers Nov 18, 2017 7:26 PM 18
What am i? by IJsbrandtGA Aug 3, 2017 4:30 PM 2
Looking for Sycamore Seeds [also posted in seed] by yeah Jun 30, 2017 2:47 PM 6
What tree is this? by keithp2012 Jun 2, 2017 9:21 PM 6
West Tenn stand of small trees by Booster Jan 28, 2017 7:24 PM 1
Merry Christmas to All - 2016 by RickM Jan 3, 2017 9:07 PM 43
Autumn leaves ID by Alexjoy Nov 19, 2016 6:49 PM 10
Tree ID by IJsbrandtGA Sep 8, 2016 7:19 PM 10

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