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''Platanus racemosa'' is a species of
plane tree ''Platanus'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer t ...
known by several common names, including California sycamore, western sycamore, California plane tree, and in North American Spanish aliso. ''Platanus racemosa'' is native to
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
and
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula The Baja California Peninsula ( en, Lower California Peninsula, es, Península de Baja California) is ...
, where it grows in
riparian A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the gro ...
areas,
canyon A canyon (; archaic British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar a ...

canyon
s,
floodplain A floodplain or flood plain or bottomlands is an area of land adjacent to a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows int ...
s, at
springs Spring(s) may refer to: Common uses * Spring (season), a season of the year * Spring (device), a mechanical device that stores energy * Spring (hydrology), a natural source of water * Spring (mathematics), a geometric surface in the shape of a heli ...
and seeps, and along
stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the No ...

stream
s and
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...

river
s in several types of
habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers at the ...

habitat
s.Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (N.R.A.), General Management Plan (GMP): Environmental Impact Statement. United States: n.p., 1982. It has been found as far north as Tehama and Humboldt counties.


Description

This large tree grows to in height with a trunk diameter of up to one meter (three feet). A specimen on the campus of
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Du ...

Stanford University
has a trunk girth (circumference) of .Stanford Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
/ref> The trunk generally divides into two or more large trunks splitting into many branches. The bark is an attractive patchwork of white, tawny beige, pinkish gray, and pale brown, with older bark becoming darker and peeling away. ''Platanus racemosa'' is the dominant species in the globally and state endangered sycamore-alluvial woodland habitat. The large
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
may be up to centimeters wide and have three or five pointed lobes. New leaves are a bright translucent green and somewhat woolly. The
deciduous In the fields of horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, ...
tree drops copious amounts of dry golden to orangish red leaves in the fall. The
inflorescence An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some ...
is made up of a few spherical flower heads each around a centimeter wide. The female flower heads develop into spherical fruit clusters each made up of many hairy, maroon-red-woolly
achene An achene (; Greek ἀ, ''a'', privative A privative, named from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rom ...

achene
s. The tough and coarse-grained wood is difficult to split and work. It has various uses, including acting as a meat preparation block for
butchers A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat, or participate within any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat and poultry for sale in retail or wholesale food establishme ...
. Many small birds feed on its fruit, and several mammals eat its twigs and bark. The
pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are microsporophytes of seed plants The spermatophytes (; ), also known as phanerogams (taxon Phanerogamae) or phaenogams (taxon Phaenogamae), comprise those plant Plant ...

pollen
and the hairs on leaves and flowers can be
allergen An allergen is a type of antigen In immunology Immunology is a branch of biology that covers the study of immune systems in all organisms. Immunology charts, measures, and contextualizes the Physiology, physiological functioning of the im ...
s for some people.Californiagardens.com
/ref> New leaves are susceptible to anthracnose canker, which, when it causes a side bud to become the new leader, can create picturesque angling trunks and branches on older specimens.


Cultivation

It is also widely planted horticulturally as a in public landscapes and private gardens. While it requires some water, and can be grown in lawns, once established it is drought tolerant. New appreciation for how it shades sun in summer and lets sun through in winter has led to its use in
green architecture Sustainable architecture is architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in ...
and
sustainable design Environmentally sustainable design (also called environmentally conscious design, eco design, etc.) is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecology, ecological sustaina ...
. The aesthetics of its bark and its overall form add interest.


See also

*
Big Sycamore CanyonImage:Mt._Boney,_CA.jpg, 250px, Boney Mountain and the Backbone Trail in Sycamore Canyon, Newbury Park, California, Newbury Park. Big Sycamore Canyon, often shortened to Sycamore Canyon, is a major feature of Point Mugu State Park, in Ventura County ...
- a place in Ventura County, California with a population of California sycamore trees


References


External links


Jepson Manual Treatment

Photo gallery

Interactive Distribution Map of ''Platanus racemosa''
{{Taxonbar, from=Q164301 racemosa Flora of California Flora of the California desert regions Flora of the Sierra Nevada (United States) Natural history of the California chaparral and woodlands Natural history of the California Coast Ranges Natural history of the Central Valley (California) Natural history of the Channel Islands of California Natural history of the Colorado Desert Natural history of the Peninsular Ranges Natural history of the San Francisco Bay Area Natural history of the Santa Monica Mountains Natural history of the Transverse Ranges Trees of Baja California Trees of the Southwestern United States Trees of Mediterranean climate Garden plants of North America Ornamental trees