Seed of the Week: Sycamore or Planetree

No one recognized these round fruit from mystery seed of the week last week?

Perhaps you would have if you saw them hanging from a tree.

These are the seed clusters from a sycamore or plane tree. In most places throughout North America the species is the American sycamore, Platanus occidentalis. The photographs shown here are of the Arizona sycamore, Platanus wrightii.

Sycamore trees are often recognized by their mottled trunks and branches due to uneven shedding of the bark.

The Arizona sycamore often grows along streams. This one is along a stream in Ramsey Canyon, in southeastern Arizona.

Sycamore trees can grow to be quite large, upwards of 80 to 100 feet tall. They also have large, lobed leaves that faintly resemble a maple leaf.

Some people are concerned because there are few small sycamores growing up to replace these large old trees.

Firefly Forest has more photographs and information about Arizona sycamore trees.

Do sycamore trees grow where you live? What have you found out about them?


  1. tiphainel

    Great! We just started homeschooling, this is beautiful and well explained. We live in France and we know some pretty old plane trees šŸ˜‰

  2. Roberta

    Those are magnificent trees. Good luck with your homeschooling adventure.

  3. Berndt Nollmeyer

    Dos anyone know where to get seeds of Platanus wrightii??

  4. Roberta

    I don’t know any sources right off hand. I’ll check some botany friends.

  5. Rich Moses

    These trees are in my area of Arizona. For the person asking. write me at 527 E Bennett drive, Flagstaff, AZ if you want the seed pod.

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