Plane trees

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Plane trees
Maple-leaved plane tree (Platanus × acerifolia)

Maple-leaved plane tree ( Platanus × acerifolia )

Subdivision : Seed plants (Spermatophytina)
Class : Bedecktsamer (Magnoliopsida)
Order : Silver tree-like (Proteales)
Family : Plane trees
Genre : Plane trees
Scientific name of the  family
T.Lestibudois ex Dum.
Scientific name of the  genus

The sycamore ( Platanus from ancient Greek πλάτανος plátanos "plane") form the only genus of the plant family of platanaceae (Platanaceae). They occur mainly in the northern hemisphere in the temperate climates of Europe, Asia and North America ( Holarctic ). The species Platanus wyomingensis is already known fossil from the Eocene .

In Central Europe, the maple-leaved plane tree ( Platanus × acerifolia ) is often found as a park and avenue tree. It was created around 1650 from crossing the American plane tree ( Platanus occidentalis ) and the oriental plane tree ( Platanus orientalis ).


Depending on the species, plane trees are deciduous to semi-evergreen trees that reach heights of 25 to 50 meters. The bark peels off annually in thin sheets and leaves a typical mosaic of light yellow, greenish and gray areas. Sycamore trees are mistletoe-proof, so they are completely immune to attack by the white berry mistletoe . Young leaves, the bark of the young twigs and the inflorescences are woolly covered with star hairs. During the entire vegetation period, inhaling hair dust that has fallen or stripped off can cause irritation of the bronchi, the so-called plane tree cough, in sensitive people. The alternate leaves arranged on the branches are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The leaf blades are palmate (rarely zero, otherwise three to seven lobes). The leaf can easily be confused with that of certain types of maple . There are stipules present.

Sycamore species are monoecious, mixed sexes ( monoecious ). The mostly stalked, spherical inflorescences are axillary, usually one to five (rarely twelve) on short branches, each with only flowers of one sex. The male inflorescences fall off early. The male flowers contain three to more than six (up to eight) sepals, petals and stamens. The female flowers contain three to four sepals and no petals, three to four staminodes and three to nine free carpels (pistils). The pollination is carried by the wind. The solitary and wedge-shaped achenes with a hairy base (without pappus ) and a short, perennial style, are grouped together in the 2–3 cm large fruit groups.


Bark of a maple-leaved plane tree ( Platanus × hispanica )
Fruit clusters of an American plane tree ( Platanus occidentalis )
Crete's largest plane tree (in Krasi ), an oriental plane tree ( Platanus orientalis ), is said to be 2500 years old
Plane tree at the town hall in Bernsdorf (Saxony)

The genus Platanus was established in 1753 by Carl von Linné in Species Plantarum , 2 p. 999. Platanus orientalis L. was introduced as a lectotype species in 1908 by Gleason in N. Amer. Fl. , 22, p. 227.

There are eight to ten species in the genus Platanus :

  • Kerr's plane tree ( Platanus kerrii Gagnepain ): It is the only tropical, evergreen species in Laos and Vietnam .
  • Platanus lindeniana M. Martens & Galeotti : The home is Mexico.
  • Mexican plane tree ( Platanus mexicana Moric. ): The home is Mexico.
  • Platanus oaxacana Standl. : The home is Mexico.
  • American or western plane tree ( Platanus occidentalis L. ): It is distributed from Canada over large areas of the USA to Mexico.
  • Oriental plane or oriental plane ( Platanus orientalis L. ): Its natural range is in Southwest Asia and Southeast Europe. It is used as an ornamental wood in the temperate latitudes.
  • California plane tree ( Platanus racemosa Nutt. ): It occurs only in California and Baja California .
  • Platanus rzedowskii Nixon & Poole : The home is Mexico.
  • Arizona plane tree ( Platanus wrightii S. Watson ): It occurs in the US states of Arizona and New Mexico and in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Sonora.
  • Maple-leaved plane tree , common or bastard plane tree ( Platanus × hispanica Mill. Ex Münchh. ) Is a hybrid of Platanus occidentalis and Platanus orientalis .

Fossil representatives are:


Sycamore trees regularly shed their non-growing bark, so that the trees rel. appear bright

The first specimens came to Germany via England and France in 1743. The plane trees on the Rondell in Dessau were bought by Prince Leopold III in 1781 . Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau planted. They are among the oldest of their kind in Germany and are therefore a dendrological rarity with their age of almost 230 years.

The Mozart plane tree in Vienna is an oriental plane tree that was probably planted in 1780. It has a trunk circumference of 6 meters and is designated as a natural monument.

A maple-leaved plane tree was planted in Herzogenrath around 1750 , making it one of the oldest of its kind. It is 33 meters high and has a trunk circumference of 6.05 meters.

The maple-leaved plane tree in Oelzschau in the Northern Saxony district was planted around 1668 and has a tree height of over 42 meters.

Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have planted plane trees on the country roads for his soldiers going to war.

In Paris , 40 percent of all trees are plane trees.

The plane tree of Hippocrates is in Kos .

Since the bark does not grow with you, it is regularly thrown off in summer, sometimes making a loud noise. The vitality of the trees remains unchanged.


Web links

Commons : Platanengewächse (Platanaceae)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: plane trees  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig and Vienna 1896, Vol. 13, p. 985.
  2. ^ Meyer's Lexicon. Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1928, Vol. 9, p. 947.
  3. The Big Brockhaus. FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1933, vol. 14, pp. 623/624.
  4. ^ A b Robert B. Kaul: Platanaceae - the same text online as the printed work , Flora of North America Editorial Committee (Ed.): Flora of North America. , Volume 3 - Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae , Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford 1997, ISBN 0-19-511246-6 .
  5. ^ Platanus at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, accessed May 27, 2008.
  6. Are Germany's oldest plane trees here? ( Memento of the original from October 11, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. The Herzogenrath plane tree on
  8. Maple-leaved plane tree in front of the old manor house in Oelzschau on
  9. a b Everyday life: the plane trees. Arte, April 8, 2017, accessed April 19, 2017 .
  10. Spiegel online from July 23, 2018.