Friday, October 25, 2013

Platanus × hispanica – P. × acerifolia – London Plane

General Information
Common Name London Plane
Scientific Name Platanus × hispanica, Platanus × acerifolia
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 30 - 50 m (100 - 180 ft)
Spread 6 -9 m (20 - 30 ft)
Growth Rate Fast 
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green, Yellow
Flower Color Green, Dark-Red
Type Tree
Native Europe, USA
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Proteales
Family Platanaceae
Genus Platanus
Species P. × hispanica, P. × acerifolia

London Plane Tree
London Plane is now generally accepted as being a hybrid between P. occidentalis and P. orientalis, probably originating in the mid seventeenth century. It is well known as a stately, tall, hardy and vigorous street tree with peeling bark, knobbly trunk and curved or crooked branches. In summer its broad leaves cast a gaily dappled shade and the tree withstands lopping and tolerates impure atmospheres.
The shoots are stout and brown, with alternate winter buds which are reddish and covered by a single closed scale. The leathery leaves are set alternately. On opening they are khaki color, but later they are glossy green on top, paler underneath.  They are palmately veined, usually with five lobes and have stipules united to form a long tube-like stalk.
The globular flower heads (‘bobbles’ or seed balls) dangle on long stalks in June, male and female being separate but on the same tree. The minute individual stalkless green flowers radiate from a central base. The developed fruits are clustered to form a ball, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter, spiky with the remains of the styles. These brown ‘bobbles’ remain dangling on the otherwise bare tree throughout the winter, and break up in the following spring, releasing the individual fruit which resembles a tiny four-sided club, with the style projecting from the top and a parachute-like ring of hairs attached to the bottom.
The bark is thin and smooth, light greenish or yellowish-green in color, and flakes off annually in irregular plates, particularly during late summer, to disclose the much paler inner bark of green, yellow and brown. When the tree is very big, the bark becomes dark grey and finely fissured. The flaking gives the trunk a dappled or mottled appearance, not unlike the coloring of a giraffe. The wood is pinkish-brown in color without any distinct heartwood. It is a useful veneer timber and when quartered is often called ‘lacewood’. The tree is very rarely planted commercially. Propagation is by seeds, cuttings, or by layering.

London Plane
Leaves of London Plane

Flower of London Plane

Flowers of London Plane

Flowers of London Plane

Fruits of London Plane

The Bark of London Plane

Logs of London Plane

Beautiful Garden of London Plane

London Plane Tree
London Plane Leaves

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