Alphabetical Plant Listing

Platanus racemosa (California Sycamore)

California Sycamore, Western Sycamore, Aliso


Fast growing, Platanus racemosa (California Sycamore) is a large deciduous tree adorned with a massive, barrel-shaped trunk and an open, irregular crown of thick, spreading, gracefully twisted branches. Typically adorned with a stout single trunk, California Sycamore often forks into multiple or leaning trunks. The foliage of large, palmate, light green leaves warms up to shades of golden, yellow or orange in the fall. Small, inconspicuous flowers appear in rounded clusters in spring. The female flowers are followed by small, fuzzy, hanging balls in summer and fall. One of the most striking features of California Sycamore is the mottled bark, which flakes off in patches, creating an attractive patchwork of white, tawny beige, pinkish gray, and pale brown. A majestic and noble tree that tolerates extreme heat and wind. Long lived (over 150 years), Platanus racemosa is both a picturesque shade tree and an ornamental tree.

  • Grows up to 30-80 ft. tall (9-24 m) and 20-50 ft. wide (6-15 m). Adds 36 in. per year (90 cm).
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in dry to medium, well-drained soils. Best in moist soils that do not dry out. Moderately salt and drought tolerant once established.
  • Resistant to verticillium. Keep an eye out for shot hole borer, leaf miner, scales, spider mites, anthracnose, armillaria, phytophthora, mistletoe, apignomonia venata and root rot.
  • California Sycamore has an aggressive root system. Make sure you have at least 12 ft. (360 cm) between the sidewalk and curb when planting as a street tree.
  • Propagate by stratified seeds.
  • Native to California, Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 80' (9m – 24m)
Spread 20' – 50' (6m – 15m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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By Sundry Photography, Carole Walker, Gerry Matthews, Shutterstock, c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 80' (9m – 24m)
Spread 20' – 50' (6m – 15m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California
Attracts Birds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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