Platanus racemosa
Common name: 
California Sycamore
Western Sycamore
PLAT-a-nus ra-se-MO-sa
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree to 40-80 ft (12-24 m), fast growing, irregular, rounded top, often with multiple trunks.  Bark at the base of trunks dark brown and furrowed with ridges separating into thin scales, smooth, pale, and almost white higher in the trunk and on branches.  Leaves alternate, simple, 15-20 cm long, 3-5 wide spread lobes, margins entire or somewhat toothed, light green above, lighter below and covered with a pale pubescence (hairs), especially on the midrib; small (3 cm) leaflike stipules at the petiole- stem junction.  Flowers very small, male (pollen) and female (seed), in spherical, 4-5 male greenish-yellow, 6 mm, flower clusters on new twigs and 2-7 larger, reddish female clusters on older branches.   Fruit in spherical clusters about 2 cm diameter, 3-7 clusters per stalk.
  • Sun or part shade.  Tolerant of heat and wind.  Prune to multitrunked clump for the garden.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7    Native to California (foothills and Coast Range) and Baja California.
  • racemosa: flowers in a raceme, an unbranched, elongated inflorescence with flowers maturing from the bottom upwards.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves


  • leaves, underside, and stipule

    leaves, underside, and stipule

  • leaves and fruit clusters, summer

    leaves and fruit clusters, summer

  • leaves and fruit clusters, fall

    leaves and fruit clusters, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • trunks, bark

    trunks, bark

  • bark (S. Ruettgers)

    bark (S. Ruettgers)