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London Planetree (Platanus ×hispanica Mill. ex Münchh.)

Also classified as Platanus ×acerifolia.

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London Planetree

Summary

A planetree of hybrid origin, widely used in urban landscaping. Established in the wild in a few regions in the northeast and California.

Range - Expand

LegendColor
Introduced
Introduced or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

BONAP reports this species as native without explanation; since it is widely-agreed-upon that one parent is a non-native species, we consider it non-native as most other authorities do.

Similar Plants

thumbnail of American Sycamore
American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
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Habitat

The habitat preferences of this hybrid in the wild are not well-known. It is likely less shade-tolerant than the American sycamore, which, in eastern North America, restricts it mostly to anthropogenic habitats, as the bottomlands that it would prefer tend to have too much vegetation for it to compete successfully.

In most areas, it does not readily establish in the wild, and is not particularly vigorous when it does, although seedlings are sometimes found in urban areas and suburban gardens. It has only been reported from spotted, isolated occurrences, although they concentrate in two areas: California, and the northeast, and there are no reports from elsewhere, in spite of this tree being very widely planted. However, it may be underreported.

The parent species Platanus orientalis also grows along streams and rivers, including intermittent or seasonal streams, and may have higher sunlight needs than the American sycamore, and is more likely on loose alluvial deposits including gravel and boulders along large rivers, contrasting with the American sycamore which is also found on sites with richer soils and more competing vegetation. Platanus orientalis's native range has a Mediterranean climate, which may explain this hybrid's establishment in California but not most of the eastern and central U.S. Limiting factors may be the higher rainfall and finer-textured soils both of which lead to more competition from other plants.

Uses

The London plane is widely planted in urban areas, where it is valued for its greater tolerance of pollution and urban conditions relative to the native American sycamore.

Platanus ×hispanica (London Planetree) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Platanus X acerifolia | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Platanus acerifolia (London planetree) | CABI Invasive Species Compendium (About This Site)

Photo gallery

Photo © Tony Rebelo, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Photo © S Brian Treelife, Public Domain.
Photo © stuartfraser, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © Stephen James McWilliam, CC BY 4.0.