FoI
London Plane Tree   
Foto info
London Plane Tree
D Introduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: London Plane Tree
Botanical name: Platanus x acerifolia    Family: Platanaceae (Chinar family)

London Plane Tree is a hybrid cross between American sycamore (P. occidentalis) and Oriental planetree (P. orientalis). The original cross may have occurred as early as the 1640s, after which this tree became widely planted in London and other major European cities because of its perceived tolerance for urban pollution. It typically grows as a single-trunk tree to 75-100 ft tall with horizontal branching and a rounded habit. Trunk diameter typically ranges from 3-8 ft. The signature ornamental feature of this huge tree is its brown bark which exfoliates in irregular pieces to reveal creamy white inner bark. Mature trees typically display mottled white bark that facilitates identification from great distances. The large 3-5 lobed medium to dark green leaves, 4-9 inches wide, have coarse marginal teeth. In fall, foliage typically turns an undistinguished yellow-brown. Small, non-showy, monoecious flowers appear in small rounded clusters in April. Male flowers are yellowish and female flowers are reddish. Female flowers give way to fuzzy, long-stalked, spherical fruiting balls, up to 1 1 cm diameter, that ripen to brown. Fruiting balls appear in pairs. Each fruiting ball consists of numerous, densely-packed, tiny seed-like fruits (achenes). Fruiting balls gradually disintegrate as fall progresses, dispursing their seeds, often in downy clusters, with the wind.

Identification credit: Gaurav Verma Photographed in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

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