Hand Tools Archive

Re: fork in the road...
Response To:
fork in the road... ()

William Duffield
I guess I'm being a bit picky here, but you got the London Planetree's name a little mixed up. It is Platanus x acerifolia. Platanus is the genus name, the "x" means it is a hybrid, and acerifolia, the hybrid name, means the leaves look like maple leaves. Its parent species are P. orientalis and P. occidentalis. East meets West. :) Even more confusing, it is in a totally different family, the soapberries, Platanacea, than the maples.

I have two huge American Planetrees, Platanus occidentalis, one of the parent species, in my front yard. The larger tree's circumference at chest height is almost 14 feet. The vernacular name around here is buttonwood, I guess because the wood is hard enough to use for buttons.

I have a few other maples around the property, including a huge silver maple, several Japanese red maples and at least one sugar maple, so I know what maple samaras look like, and they are nothing like the fuzzy balls the sycamores drop.

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