Fruit of American Sycamore on Bare Branches in Early Spring

Photo of American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

View high resolution

Taken on Apr. 8, 2019

This photo shows the fruit of an American Sycamore tree. The tree has not yet reached full size; it was growing in a rocky sandbar in the middle of a small stream adjacent to a highway. The tree however is mature enough to fruit.

The fruit here are mostly intact, although the lower-middle fruit shows the beginnings of the seeds starting to come free, after which they will blow away in the wind. Much of the fruit of the American sycamore often stays attached to the tree through the winter, and is released only in heavy winds. Sometimes the seeds then blanket the ground.

Photographer & Copyright

Icon for Alex Zorach

© Alex Zorach

CC BY-SA 4.0

Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 1 plant ID/comparison guide:

collage of American Sycamore and London Planetree

American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) vs. London Planetree (Platanus ×hispanica)

Updated July 24th, 2020

These species are similar and are easily confused when they occur together, such as in parks in riparian areas where both wild and planted trees are found. Mature trees are easily distinguished by differences in bark and seeds. London Plane is common in landscaping, occasionally escapes cultivation, and is established in the wild in a few areas. American sycamore is common in riparian areas and occasionally used in landscaping.

View Full Guide