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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Platanus occidentalis

American Sycamore

Scientific Name:

Platanus occidentalis

Genus:

Platanus

Species Epithet:

occidentalis

Common Name:

American Sycamore

Plant Type

Tree

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Platanaceae (Plane-Tree Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Invasive Status:

(*Key)

Size:

72-100 ft., More than 100 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Green

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Wet

Bloom Time:

April, May, June

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Riverbanks and alluvial forests, streambanks, sometimes weedy on rocky roadcuts. In NC,  it is common to very common across the mountains and Piedmont.  It is fairly common to common in parts of the western Coastal Plain, such as along the Roanoke River. It is uncommon to infrequent in the Sandhills and most of the eastern two-thirds of the Coastal Plain. It is rare to uncommon in the far eastern counties (absent in Carteret and Hyde?), and possibly absent in most counties north of Albemarle Sound.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Highest Wildlife Value

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)

Notes:

Better for natural wetland areas. Fast grower, drops limbs easily and loses leaves in slight drought. Interesting bark -patchwork of gray plates and white inner bark.

Characteristic white inner bark on upper branches

Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Transition of bark on lower trunk to the mottled patchwork of colors of the inner bark.

Stanly County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Each fruiting ball consists of numerous, densely-packed, tiny achenes that persist into winter.

Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record



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