The seeds of flowering plants vary in size. Some are as small as grains of salt (e.g Foxglove), while others may be almost the size of golfballs (e.g. Horse Chestnut conkers). The difference in size reflects differences in the amount of food reserves stored in the seed for the benefit of the embryo plant inside. Usually, the larger the seed, the more food reserves it contains. This allows the germinating seed and young seedling more time to grow. It can then become well established before it must begin manufacturing its own food. The longer a seedling has before it must become self sufficient, the greater chance it has of becoming successfully established.
However, there is a down-side to having large seeds. The larger and heavier the seed, the more difficult it becomes to disperse it effectively by wind, or explosive techniques. All of these require light seeds. Seeds such as Foxglove are minute and are easily blown about by the wind. Larger wind-dispersed seeds are generally heavier and therefore require features such as parachutes or wings to help keep them aloft. For example, Dandelion seeds have developed very light and fluffy parachute-like structures. These help the seeds to float in the wind and delays their fall to the ground. This delay allows the seeds to be carried further. The largest and heaviest wind-dispersed seeds, such as Sycamore cannot rely on hair-like parachutes to keep them airborne. They would have to be enormous to be effective. Instead they have developed a wing which causes them to spin through the air like mini helicopters. This again delays their fall.
The biggest seeds of all cannot possibly be dispersed by the wind. Large seeds such as nuts, are a valuable food for some animals. They are therefore often dispersed by animals which collect them to eat. Rarely are all such seeds eaten. Some will usually be overlooked, leaving them to germinate wherever they have been left when conditions are right.
- Leaf anatomy
- Leaf adaptations
- Questions and Answers
- Why Leaves Change Color
- American Sycamore Tree
- The Fastest-Growing Symmetrical Sycamore
- Planting & Care
- Sycamore Tree In Ancient Israel
- The Sycamore Tree and world culture
- Editors note: This particular tree is a relative from a much older tree describe within the original text of Biblical scriptures. The local Jericho Palestinians called it the Zacchaeus tree and said this tree was a generational seedling that could be traced back to the same tree Zacchaeus had climbed. Since this comes from oral history we cannot confirm this but thought it should be mentioned. These trees can live up to 250 years so I assume all of the Sycamore trees are all biologically related to each other.
- Jericho And The Ancient Sycamore Tree
- Sycamore Tree In Ancient Israel
- Ficus sycomorus
- Acer pseudoplatanus
- Platanus genus
- Platanus occidentalis
- Pests and diseases
- See also
- External links
The leaves of a Beech treeSEM image of Nicotiana alata leaf’s epidermis, showing trichomes (hair-like appendages) and stomata (eye-shaped slits, visible at full resolution).Leaves can have different shapes. The part of biology that studies the shapes of things is called Morphology
A leaf is an above-ground plant organ. Its main functions are photosynthesis and gas exchange. A leaf is often flat, so it absorbs the most light, and thin, so that the sunlight can get to the chloroplasts in the cells. Most leaves have stomata, which open and close. They regulate carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapour exchange with the atmosphere.
Plants with leaves all year round are evergreens, and those that shed their leaves are deciduous. Deciduous trees and shrubs generally lose their leaves in autumn. Before this happens, the leaves change colour. The leaves will grow back in spring.
Leaves come in many shapes and sizes. The biggest undivided leaf is that of a giant edible aroid. This lives in marshy parts of the tropical rain forest of Borneo. One of its leaves can be ten feet across and have a surface area of over 30 square feet (~2.8 sq. metres).
A leaf is a plant organ and is made up of a collection of tissues in a regular organisation. The major tissue systems present are:
- The epidermis that covers the upper and lower surfaces
- The mesophyll inside the leaf that is rich in chloroplasts (also called chlorenchyma)
- The arrangement of veins (the vascular tissue)
The epidermis is the outer layer of cells covering the leaf. It forms the boundary separating the plant’s inner cells from the external world.
The epidermis is covered with pores called stomata. They are part of a complex with a pore surrounded on each side by chloroplast-containing guard cells, and two to four subsidiary cells that lack chloroplasts. Opening and closing of the stoma complex regulates the exchange of gases and water vapor between the outside air and the interior of the leaf and plays an important role in allowing photosynthesis without letting the leaf dry out.
Most of the interior of the leaf between the upper and lower layers of epidermis is a tissue called the mesophyll (Greek for “middle leaf”). This assimilation tissue is the main place photosynthesis takes place in the plant. The products of photosynthesis are sugars, which can be turned into other products in plant cells.
In ferns and most flowering plants, the mesophyll is divided into two layers:
- An upper palisade layer of tightly packed, vertically elongated cells, one to two cells thick, directly beneath the adaxial epidermis. Its cells contain many more chloroplasts than the spongy layer. These long cylindrical cells are regularly arranged in one to five rows. Cylindrical cells, with the chloroplasts close to the walls of the cell, can take good advantage of light. The slight separation of the cells provides maximum absorption of carbon dioxide. Sun leaves have a multi-layered palisade layer, while shade leaves or older leaves closer to the soil are single-layered.
- Beneath the palisade layer is the spongy layer. The cells of the spongy layer are more rounded and not so tightly packed. There are large intercellular air spaces. These cells contain fewer chloroplasts than those of the palisade layer. The pores or stomata of the epidermis open into chambers, which are connected to the air spaces between the spongy layer cells.
Leaves are normally green in color, which comes from chlorophyll found in plastids in the chlorenchyma cells. Plants that lack chlorophyll cannot photosynthesize.
The ‘veins’ are a dense network of xylem, which supply water for photosynthesis, and phloem, which remove the sugars produced by photosynthesis. Many leaves are covered in trichomes (small hairs) which have a wide range of structures and functions.
What leaves look like on the plant varies greatly. Closely related plants have the same kind of leaves because they have all descended from a common ancestor. The terms for describing leaf shape and pattern is shown, in illustrated form, at Wikibooks.
- Lycophytes have microphyll leaves.
- Ferns have fronds
- Conifer leaves are typically needle-, awl-, or scale-shaped
- Angiosperm (flowering plant) leaves: the standard form includes stipules, a petiole, and a lamina
- Sheath leaves (type found in most grasses)
- Other specialized leaves (such as those of Nepenthes)
Arrangement on the stem
Different terms are usually used to describe leaf placement (phyllotaxis):
The leaves on this plant are arranged in pairs opposite one another, with successive pairs at right angles to each other (“decussate”) along the red stem. Note the developing buds in the axils of these leaves.
- Alternate — succeessive leaves in alternate direction along the stem.
- Opposite — Two structures, one on each opposite side of the stem, typically leaves, branches, or flower parts.
- Whorled — three or more leaves attach at each point or node on the stem.
Leaves form a helix pattern centered around the stem, with (depending upon the species) the same angle of divergence. There is a regularity in these angles and they follow the numbers in a Fibonacci sequence. This tends to give the best chance for the leaves to catch light.
Divisions of the blade
A leaf with laminar structure and pinnate venation
Two basic forms of leaves can be described considering the way the blade (lamina) is divided.
- A simple leaf has an undivided blade. However, the leaf shape may be formed of lobes, but the gaps between lobes do not reach to the main vein.
- A compound leaf has a fully subdivided blade, each leaflet of the blade separated along a main or secondary vein. Because each leaflet can appear to be a simple leaf, it is important to recognize where the petiole occurs to identify a compound leaf. Compound leaves are a characteristic of some families of higher plants, such as the Fabaceae. The middle vein of a compound leaf or a frond, when it is present, is called a rachis.
The overgrown petioles of Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) are edible.
Some leaves have a petiole (leaf stem). Sessile leaves do not: the blade attaches directly to the stem. Sometimes the leaf blad surrounds the stem, giving the impression that the shoot grows through the leaf.
In some Acacia species, such as the Koa Tree (Acacia koa), the petioles are expanded or broadened and function like leaf blades; these are called phyllodes. There may or may not be normal pinnate leaves at the tip of the phyllode.
A stipule, present on the leaves of many dicotyledons, is an appendage on each side at the base of the petiole resembling a small leaf. Stipules may be shed or not shed.
Branching veins on underside of taro leaf The lower epidermis of Tilia × europaea
There are two subtypes of venation:
- the major veins stretch up to the margin of the leaf, and
- when major veins extend close to the margin, but bend before they intersect with the margin.
Poinsettia bracts are leaves which have evolved red pigmentation in order to attract insects and birds to the central flowers, an adaptive function normally served by petals (which are themselves leaves highly modified by evolution).
In the course of evolution, many species have leaves which are adapted to other functions.
- Thorns help protect the plant from being eaten.
- Vines help the plant to attach to surfaces, and to climb trees.
- Some leaves are used to store energy in bulbs. An example is the onion.
- Many succulents store water in some of their leaves.
- Some plants (called epiphytes) grow on other plants. They do not have roots in the ground. Their capture rainwater.
- Carnivorous plants use adapted leaves to capture their prey.
- Sliced leaves reduce wind resistance.
- Hairs on the leaf surface trap humidity in dry climates.
- Waxy leaf surfaces reduce water loss.
- Large surface area provides area for sunlight and shade for plant to minimize heating and reduce water loss.
- In more or less opaque or buried in the soil leaves, translucent windows let the light in.
- Succulent leaves store water and organic acids.
- Aromatic oils, poisons or pheromones produced by leaf borne glands deter herbivores (e.g. eucalyptus).
- Crystalline minerals may herbivores (e.g. silica phytoliths in grasses, raphides in Araceae).
- Petals attracts pollinators.
- Tendrils allow the plant to climb (e.g. peas).
- Bracts and ‘false flowers’ replace normal flower structures when the true flowers are greatly reduced (e.g. Spurges).
- Attenborough, David 1995. The private lives of plants: a natural history of plant behaviour. BBC Books, London. p47
- They are leaves which are supplied by a single unbranched vein.
Questions and Answers
Without leaves there would be no trees, and without trees there would be no oxygen, which means there would be no life on Earth in its usual form. Some trees get rid of leaves for the cold, or, conversely, arid and hot seasons, to reduce the costs of nutrients to maintain them, while others keep them year-round.
The widest leaves in the world are those of a giant water lily growing on the Amazon River. They can reach two meters in diameter.
In Chile, a unique goblet plant grows, noteworthy in that it mimics other plants, along which the goblet’s shoots creep up to the sunlight. On one shoot of a goblet, leaves of different colors and different shapes can grow.
Many types of cacti, in addition to needles, have leaves. They usually grow near the base of the plant and spread along the ground.
In some plants, young leaves may be reddish, because they still have little chlorophyll. Growing, the leaves turn green, as they begin to produce more chlorophyll.
Palma raffia – the owner of the longest leaves in the plant kingdom. In length, they can reach 25 meters.
The leaves of the bashful mimosa, having felt even the lightest touch, immediately fold and fall. It is thanks to them that this plant got its name.
In an Indian bilimbi tree, leaves fall down when the tree itself is sleeping.
The tendrils of leguminous plants like beans and peas are also leaves from a botanical point of view.
In some plants, leaves can rotate to receive more sunlight, or, conversely, hide from it to reduce evaporation of moisture.
The needles of conifers and shrubs are also leaves, just such a peculiar shape. They live on average from 6 to 12 years with ordinary spruce, after which they die and are replaced by new ones.
In the world there is such an amazing long-lived plant as velveteen. It can live up to hundreds of years, while it has only two sheets, with which velveteen is inextricably linked. If the leaves are damaged, the plant will inevitably die.
The number of different leaf shapes in different plants is so great that scientists do not even try to calculate it.
Veins, which can be seen in the thickness of the leaf, in their functionality are similar to blood vessels in the human body, only they do not carry blood, but water.
Most of the leaves grow on cypress trees, on an old tree there can be up to 50 million. This is hundreds of times more than on some other trees.
Fern adiantum – the owner of the most fragile leaves in the world, they consist of only one layer of cells. Even a light wind can damage them.
Why Leaves Change Color
If you live in certain parts of the world (especially the middle and eastern parts of the United States) you will see something happen each fall (autumn) that is almost magical. What is it? It is the changing colors of the leaves on many different types of trees. Some of the prettiest fall trees are:
- Maple trees
- Walnut trees
- Sassafras trees
- Sweet gum trees
- Aspen trees
- Oak trees
- Gingko trees
- Redbud trees
- Dogwood trees
- Pear trees
These trees (and every other tree that loses its leaves) are called deciduous trees.
A deciduous tree is a tree that loses its leaves every fall and grows new leaves each spring. Each year deciduous trees go through a process in which their green leaves become bright yellow, gold, orange and red for a few weeks before turning brown and falling to the ground.
The purpose of a leaf
During the months of September, October, and November, the changing colors of a tree’s leaves is something we all enjoy. But believe it or not, the trees don’t change their colors just so we will have something pretty to look at. There is actually a reason for the many colors of fall.
Photosynthesis is the process trees (and plants) use to make their food. Taking energy from the sun, water from the ground, and carbon dioxide from the air, they make glucose (sugar) to ‘eat’ so they can grow into strong, healthy trees.
The leaves of a tree (or plant) are where photosynthesis happens because the chlorophyll in the leaves is what makes photosynthesis possible. Chlorophyll also has another job…it is what makes leaves green.
So…as long as the leaves are able to soak up enough heat and energy from the sun to make food, the leaves on the tree stay green. But when the seasons begin to change and the weather turns colder…
Why leaves change colors…or do they
Leaves change color because they are hungry…sort of.
When the seasons change in places where deciduous trees grow, the days get shorter (there is less sunshine) and the weather gets colder. When this happens it is harder for the chlorophyll in the leaves to make the food needed to stay green. So instead of making more food, the leaves start using food they have stored away for this time of year.
As the leaves use the food (glucose) that has been stored away, a layer of cells forms at the bottom of each leaf. These cells are spongy like a cork. Their job is to act like a door between the leaf and the rest of the tree—a door that closes very slowly and doesn’t ‘shut’ until all the leaf’s food is gone.
While this is happening the colors in the leaves of the trees are able to show through. That’s right…the red, yellow, gold and orange colors are hiding in the leaves all summer long. The colors just can’t be seen in the summer because of all the chlorophyll in the leaves. REMEMBER: Chlorophyll makes plants and leaves green.
Once all the food is used up, the leaves turn brown, die and fall to the ground.
What about the rest of the tree
You might be wondering how the rest of the tree keeps growing when the weather turns cold and the leaves die and fall off. Doesn’t the rest of the tree need food made by the tree’s leaves?
No, not really. The tree trunk and branches get food from the roots of the tree. The roots supply water, vitamins and minerals they get from the ground. Yes, trees need sunshine and warm weather to grow, but they also need time to rest—like bears who hibernate (sleep) during the winter.
So…the next time you see a nice green leaf on a tree, you will know why it won’t stay that way for long.
Read more about Plant Facts for Kids
American Sycamore Tree
The Fastest-Growing Symmetrical Sycamore
Why American Sycamore Trees?
The American Sycamore is very popular for residential landscaping because of its extremely fast growth. In fact, the American Sycamore can gain up to 6 feet per year, growing a thick canopy that provides tons of shade quickly.
You can count on your American Sycamore to grow into a full, symmetrical tree. The tree’s many branches develop large green leaves that turn to gold in the fall, offering good looks and dense growth. This makes it excellent for shielding your home from hot summer weather or allowing in plenty of sun during winter when you need it most. And the Sycamore develops smooth, white bark in the winter, adding additional seasonal interest when other trees look drab.
So, it’s an energy and money-saver. Even better is the fact that it’s easy to grow too…adaptable to moist soil types, thriving in both warm and cold climates, and growing well with just a bit of water and sun.
Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better
You won’t find a healthier American Sycamore at your local nursery or garden center. Unlike other retailers, we’ve planted, grown and shipped your Sycamore with meticulous care. Now, when it’s delivered at your door, it arrives with a healthier, well-developed root system.
And because your Sycamore is delivered with better branching, it has thicker, fuller foliage…meaning it needs less water, less sun, and less care from you.
When you buy our larger sizes, you can get explosive growth and shade as soon as the first season.
Plant one in your own yard and say goodbye to sweltering summer afternoons – get your iconic American Sycamore today!
Planting & Care
1. Planting: Find a sunny place in your yard (6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily) with well-drained soil. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball. Place the root ball in the hole, backfill the soil, and water to settle the roots. Adding mulch to the base of the tree with help with water retention, though it is not necessary.
2. Watering: Keep your tree well-watered in its first 3 years. If you get less than 1 inch of rain per week, water your tree. However, if you’re not sure when to water, simply check your soil about 3 inches down. If the soil is dry there, it’s time to water.
3. Pruning: You can shape the top of your tree by pruning, though it’s unnecessary. Prune any diseased or dead branches if you see them, as this will maintain the health of your tree.
Fast Growing Trees erosion control large trees Planting Kit shade trees street trees Top 100 Top 50 Tree Spikes wet area plants //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0059/8835/2052/products/American_Sycamore_Tree_450_MAIN.jpg?v=1549643463 //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0059/8835/2052/products/American_Sycamore_Tree_450_1.jpg?v=1549643463 //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0059/8835/2052/products/American_Sycamore_Tree_450_2.jpg?v=1549643463 13940760870964 1-2 ft. 29.95 29.95 //cdn.shopify.com/s/assets/no-image-2048-5e88c1b20e087fb7bbe9a3771824e743c244f437e4f8ba93bbf7b11b53f7824c.gif https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/products/americansycamore?variant=13940760870964 OutOfStock 1-2 ft. 13940760903732 3-4 ft. 59.95 59.95 //cdn.shopify.com/s/assets/no-image-2048-5e88c1b20e087fb7bbe9a3771824e743c244f437e4f8ba93bbf7b11b53f7824c.gif https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/products/americansycamore?variant=13940760903732 OutOfStock 3-4 ft. 13940760936500 4-5 ft. 79.95 79.95 //cdn.shopify.com/s/assets/no-image-2048-5e88c1b20e087fb7bbe9a3771824e743c244f437e4f8ba93bbf7b11b53f7824c.gif https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/products/americansycamore?variant=13940760936500 OutOfStock 4-5 ft. 13940760969268 5-6 ft. 119.95 99.95 //cdn.shopify.com/s/assets/no-image-2048-5e88c1b20e087fb7bbe9a3771824e743c244f437e4f8ba93bbf7b11b53f7824c.gif https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/products/americansycamore?variant=13940760969268 OutOfStock 5-6 ft. 13940761002036 6-7 ft. 99.95 99.95 //cdn.shopify.com/s/assets/no-image-2048-5e88c1b20e087fb7bbe9a3771824e743c244f437e4f8ba93bbf7b11b53f7824c.gif https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/products/americansycamore?variant=13940761002036 InStock 6-7 ft.
Tree & Plant Care
Plants grow best in moist, deep, rich well-drained soil in full sun. Does not tolerate shady sites.
Soil pH adaptable, moderately salt tolerant
Do not grow sycamore near septic fields.
Can be a messy tree since it drops a lot of leaves, twigs and fruit.
Disease, pests, and problems
Can be affected by anthracnose, leafspots, aphids, plant bug, scales, bagworm, and borers.
Also susceptible to frost cracks.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Tolerant of high pH soil.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to eastern U. S. along rivers and streams and rich bottomland.
Occasionally grows in upland sites.
Bark color and texture
Unique, gray-brown flaky scales that shed to expose mottled peeling patches of white, gray, and green. Trees become nearly white near the top.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, 4 to 9 inch wide leathery leaves have 3 to 5 lobes, similar to maple.
The leaf surface is bright green and paler underneath., margins are broadly toothed.
Fall color is brown.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Monoecious, with separate male and female flowers on the same tree. Flowers appear in early spring with the leaves as dense globose balls on long stalks (peduncles).
Male flowers are green , females are showier, bright burgundy-red.
Not ornamentally important .
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
A singular, 1-inch, ball-like seed head hangs from long stalks. Seeds shatter during winter months.
Sycamore Tree In Ancient Israel
Sycamore Tree, an ancient species of the Fig Tree, is amazing. It is also related to the Mulberry Tree. There are several species of the Fig Tree that comes under the Sycamore Tree. This particular species of the Sycamore Tree is sometimes spelled Sycamore, for distinction from the other Fig species. This species of the Sycamore Tree is found in Madagascar, Egypt, and Israel. This gigantic Sycamore has been cultivated since ancient times.
“First let’s get some basics about this tree laid out. The Sycamore tree is a deciduous tree that belongs to the plane-tree family. This tree has originated from Europe, but it has been taken all around the world now.
Basic Sycamore Facts:
1. North American Sycamore,
2. British sycamore and
3. Middle Eastern sycamore.
4. Sycamore can reach 98 to 130 feet in height and 4.9 to 6.6 feet in diameter.
5. The Bark of sycamore has a whitish and reddish-brown patched surface.
6. The mottled bark has irregular “flakes” creating the impression of and illness. Name “sycamore” probably refers to the “sick” appearance of the tree.
7. Sycamore has broad, five-lobed leaves with pointed tips. Leaves are toothed on the edges. Dark green leaves change color into bright yellow at the beginning of the autumn. Soon after, the tree sheds them.
8. Sycamore has a rounded, dome-shaped crown that is extremely dense. Twisted branches provide shelter for the small mammals such as squirrels and various birds (during the nesting season)
9. Sycamore is a monoecious plant which means that it produces individual male and female flowers on the same plant. Flowers are yellowish-green, arranged in drooping clusters. Sycamore blooms during April. Flowers produce nectar which attracts bees, main pollinators of this species.
10. The fruit of sycamore is brown, woody balls that can be seen on the tree starting from October. They remain on the tree during the winter. Fully ripe fruit splits to release seed.
11. The seed of sycamore are arranged in V-shaped pairs and equipped with wings that facilitate dispersal by wind. One tree produces up to 10.000 seed per season.
12. Sycamore seed is known as “helicopters” because of their wings that rotate similar to helicopter’s propeller on a wind.
13. One old sycamore tree provided protection for the large troops of General Washington during the battle on the Brandywine Battlefield Park in Pennsylvania in the 18th century. Ever since the sycamore tree is a symbol of hope and protection in the USA.
14. Sycamore also symbolizes strength, eternity and divinity.
15. The wood of sycamore is used in the industry of furniture, musical instruments, kitchenware, and butchers’ blocks.
16. Sycamore is often planted in urban areas because of its ability tolerate air pollution and provide shade.
17. Sycamore also serves as windbreak thanks to the strong root system that holds the plant firmly attached to the ground in areas with strong winds.
18. Sycamore can survive from 150 to 600 years in the wild.” (1 Softschools)
They differ in size, the color of the bark and leaves, and habitats from where they can be found. Sycamore requires very fertile, moist and well-drained soil. Full sun is also needed for this tree to be successful in development. It normally grows near the streams, riverbanks, and lakes. People typically cultivate sycamore for ornamental purposes, but it is well known as a source of high-quality wood.
This variety of the Sycamore Tree is an extremely large tree. Though the trunk is similar to the Olive Tree, you can identify them by their leaves. It has a beautiful thick and knotted trunk and very large scaly leaves. These huge large leathery leaves are thought to have possibly been the fig leaves referred to in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 3:7 it says: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Scientists, archaeologists, and religious scholars all seem to agree that this is the most likely species of the Fig Tree that the book of Genesis could have been referring to. It is the only species of the Fig Tree that is native to the Middle East. It is also the only Sycamore Tree that has larger than normal leaves.
The remains of the Sycamore Tree in Egypt have been found to date back as far as 3000 BC. These gigantic trees were used by the Egyptians to carve out coffins for the mummies in Egypt. It was the only tree that had the size needed to make these coffins. In ancient Egypt, the Sycamore Tree was called the “Fig of Pharaoh.” Egypt itself was referred to as “the land where the Sycamore Tree blooms.” The Sycamore Tree played major importance in the food supply of ancient Egypt. Not only was the wood used, but all parts of the tree were also cultivated. The fruit was good to eat! The leaves made a healing tea! The sap made a sweet syrup! The gigantic trunks provided refuge. The “Fig of Pharaoh” was an amazing resource for the ancient Egyptians.
In ancient Hebraic writings, the Sycamore Tree symbolized “regeneration.” When transplanting a Sycamore Tree, you must do it quickly, as the roots dry out very rapidly. On the other hand, the Sycamore Tree has an amazing ability to regenerate itself. If the sand covers one of its branches, it will establish new roots and reproduce a whole new tree. During ancient times, these trees were considered extremely important in Israel. In the time of David, we see that he appointed a special overseer for the Olive and Sycamore Trees (1 Chronicles 27:28).
Flowering and fruiting of the Sycamore Tree in ancient Israel occurred during the hot summer months. Though it was not unusual to get up to 6 crops a year from each tree (Talmud writings). The figs of the Sycamore Tree were eaten in ancient times. During the time of David, the Sycamores were considered one of the sources to food that was destroyed by the plagues in Egypt. See Psalms 78:47. In modern times, there are many other Fig Trees with a better quality of fruit. For this reason, the Sycamore is not often used in modern Israel.
The Sycamore Tree and world culture
In the religion of the Kikuyu Tribe of Kenya, there was only one God. They referred to Him as Ngai. Many of the sacrifices were similar to the ones done by the Israelite’s in ancient times. The Kikuyu Tribe did all their sacrifices under the Sycamore Tree. Both the Sycamore and the Fig Tree were considered sacred. The Olive Tree was considered sacred for women.
In other cultures, the wood of the Sycamore Tree was used for utensils, bowls, baskets, cutting boards, etc. The sap of the Sycamore can be used for syrup, similar, but of a lower quality than the sugar maple. The large leaves are used to wrap food for cooking and like fig leaves, can be used for tea. The fruit is good to eat, but modern fig trees have a higher quality fruit.
The amazing Sycamore Tree has been important throughout the time of the prophets. It appears in many of their writings throughout the ages. There does not appear to be any age when the Sycamore was not important for something. Its leaves are a source of medicine. It’s wood make sturdy kitchen vessels. Its sap makes a sweet syrup! Its beautiful trunk is amazing. In times of emergency, people have sought refuge inside this trunk. This amazing trunk is hollow in the larger trees. What other trees in the history of man can be used for so many different things? The ancient Sycamore tree of the Middle East is one of the most outstanding trees of all time.
sycamore tree Jericho
This particular tree is still standing within the city of Jericho, and the tourist peddlers are out in force. Some of the items for sale can be unique and you should consider taking a few treasures home. We had plenty of time, and there are some interesting places to see while you’re in the area.
Jericho And The Ancient Sycamore Tree
Discover the Sycamore tree of the ancient world.
Jericho is a living, vibrate small Palestinian town in the Jordan Valley. It is the world’s oldest town. The town dates back to 8,000 BC. It has always been occupied since ancient times. It is also the lowest town in the world. Jericho is 780 feet below sea level. It is a Jordan Valley Oasis! This is the year it is about to get another facelift. They are bringing back into focus the beautiful Sycamore Tree that Zacchaeus climbed to get a better look at Jesus. We read about this encounter in the Gospels.
“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, who was the chief among the tax collectors, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus … but could not because of the crowd, because he was of short stature. And he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.” Luke 19:1-5
Jericho’s Sycamore Tree for years has been tucked away on a side street. Until 2010 it was kept out of the eyes of tourists. They came, took a picture, and left! But that has been changing. It has now become the main attraction of a museum complex. This complex opened in 2010 and each month sees new additions. This is the birthday of Jericho and this ancient Sycamore Tree is about to be the star attraction.
Palestine is being promoted to the world as a place to come to. This mega venture also includes future plans for a major 5 Star Resort to be built on the banks of the Dead Sea. In the future, there is the hope of building a major airport in the area. The town is busy cleaning and painting. The yards are being cut and manicured. This magnificent Palestinian town is getting a facelift. It is getting ready for another mega birthday celebration. Happy Birthday, Jericho!
The road into Jericho has always been a country road, complete with potholes! Now it is a four-lane highway! Before there was an Israelite check-point going into the town. Now everyone comes and goes freely! This no longer slows down traffic and tourists are not deterred from coming. Things are happening and Jericho is sharing another one of her treasures with the world. Welcome her newest start attraction…. the Sycamore Tree.
The history of the Sycamore Tree in the area is on display in the new Museum. Local restaurants gear up for the added pilgrims that will be coming into the area. No longer is the tree that Zacchaeus climbed being regulated to the side street. The story of how Zacchaeus climbed the Sycamore Tree so he could see Jesus, is now being told to the world. This is another birthday celebration of the oldest town in the world, and Zacchaeus’ story and the tree he climbed, will be the center of attention. Palestine invites you to join them in Jericho, at the foot of….. the Sycamore Tree.
Sycamore Tree Jericho
Within the Tel Jericho area complex zone there are several areas of interest and vendors who sell unique Palestinian handicrafts. Tel Jericho is an archaeological site in the northeastern area of Jericho also known as er-Riha, Yeriho, Tel es-Sultan, and Eriha. The tel mound is located today within the UNESCO World Heritage Site operated by the Palestinian Authority West Bank. The site is located in the Jordan Valley 10km north of the Dead Sea, and it is close to the Ein es-Sultan spring. The known term of the fountain of Elisha comes from Biblical reference and can be found close by. You will need special permission to view the very ancient well, and the town’s water supply.
Fountain Of Elisha In Jericho
The fountain of Elisha, an oasis in the midst of old Jericho, is beautiful and clear. As you near the spring, you notice it teeming with fish. This is where an immense volume of clear warm water flows. It is shaded by an ancient lone fig tree. In other places, you will see small waterways where the local people direct the water. In this way, the crops are watered to this day. In the above photo, we see this spring where it exits the ground at the pumping station. The pumping station protects this ancient flowing spring. It pumps fresh, clean water into modern Jericho. The fountain of Elisha is still sweet! You can see how crystal clear it is! These magnificent areas are located in Jericho, a city of palm trees from ancient times (Deuteronomy 34:3).
You can learn more by viewing this post: The Fountain of Elisha
“Jericho is believed to be one of the oldest cities in the world that has remained permanently inhabited from the 10th millennia BC. The site of Tel Jericho is identified with ancient Jericho which is mentioned in historical documents and the Bible. Today at the site visitors can see the excavated structures which once formed the core of Jericho city.”(2 Beinharim Tours)
Some Information Citation Beinharim Tours
This area of Tel Jericho has a tremendous amount of information and areas of historical interest. If you would like to learn more about this area, and our time there you can read this recent post.
Middle East Adventure: Week One Jerusalem, Jericho, Sea of Galilee
Sycamore Tree In Ancient Israel
Yes, a long time ago it was apart of that old empire. Today it is apart of the Palestinian Territory controlled by the Fatah faction of the Palestinian National Authority. Before it was apart of Ancient Israel it was even an early Canaan city with people living there 11,000 years ago or maybe even earlier. Jericho has been taken by many empires, and its geography has made it a jewel for every ancient empire to control. We are more interested in history and not the modern-day politics. But yes we are aware of the sensitivity of the subject when used in modern terms. I would love to go back and do some research within the archaeology of this site and hope to one day be able to get the funding to do so.
Also, a further study into how this tree perpetrated into the area if it can be known alongside the movement of the human race may shed a tremendous amount of research. It is the many forms of agriculture and their uses that have set the sycamore apart from other agriculture trees.
Here are some Pinterest Boards from the region
I Love Israel
I Love Egypt
Posted on with permission at:
If you’re interested in learning more about sycamore trees from the Tel Jericho area, and/or from the area of Israel here are a few keywords you can search within Google for additional information.
Sycamore Tree In Ancient Israel
- Recent Posts
Travel and discover that the world is full of wonderful people.
Latest posts by Exploretraveler.com (see all)
- Malaki Volcanic Crater In Luzon Philippines Taal – January 12, 2020
- Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem – December 24, 2019
- Exploring The Philippines Islands – November 10, 2019
Sycamore is a common name that is applied used at various times and places to three very different taxa of trees, Ficus sycomorus, Acer pseudoplatanus, and all members of the genus Platanus. These trees are located in three different orders of flowering plants.
Ficus sycomorus is the sycamore (or sycomore) of the Bible. It is a species of fig native to the Middle East and eastern Africa. It is also known as the sycamore fig or fig-mulberry.
Acer pseudoplatanus is known as sycamore in Britain and Ireland. It is a species of European maple that is called “sycamore maple” in North America, or “plane” in Scotland.
Platanus is a genus of trees of North America known as sycamores. They are known as planes in Europe. There are several species, including the American sycamore and the California sycamore. The term sycamore particularly is used for Platanus occidentalis, the American sycamore.
These trees offers unique ecological, aesthetic, and commercial values. Ficus sycomorus, which was popularly cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, requires a tiny wasp in order to reproduce sexually, as opposed to grafting. The sycamore is a giant tree, standing as much as 6 meters (20 feet) wide; the wasp is a tiny insect. Yet, reflecting the harmony in nature, both depend on each other (mutualism), as the wasp needs Ficus sycomorus for a place to lay its eggs and the tree depends on the wasp to pollinate its flowers.
Acer pseudoplatanus is noted for its tolerance of urban pollution, salt spray, and wind, making it a popular ornamental tree for planting in cities, along salt-treated roads, and in coastal localities. It also provides wood for furniture, flooring, and other uses. Members of the Platanus genus are among the more common trees planted in North American and Europe for shade, and are commonly found in public parks or city streets. This is also reflected in the common name of sycamore for street names in the United States.
| Ficus sycomorus
Ficus sycomorus, known variously as the sycamore, sycomore, sycamore fig, or the fig-mulberry (due to the leaves’ resemblance to those of the mulberry), is a fig species in the mulberry family (Moraceae) that has been cultivated since early times. Ficus sycomorus is native to Africa south of the Sahel and north of the Tropic of Capricorn, also excluding the central-west rainforest areas. It also grows naturally in the southern Arabian Peninsula and in very localized areas in Madagascar, and has been naturalized in Israel and Egypt. In its native habitat, the tree is usually found in rich soils along rivers, but also in mixed woodlands.
Ficus sycomorus grows to 20 meters tall (65 feet) and 6 meters (20 feet) wide, with a dense round crown of spreading branches. The leaves are heart-shaped with a round apex, 14 centimeters long by 10 centimeters wide, and arranged spirally around the twig. They are dark green above and lighter with prominent yellow veins below, and both surfaces are rough to the touch. The petiole is 0.5-3 centimeters long and pubescent. The fruit is a large edible fig, 2-3 centimeters in diameter, ripening from buff-green to yellow or red. They are borne in thick clusters on long branchlets or the leaf axil. Flowering and fruiting occurs year-round, peaking from July to December. The bark is green-yellow to orange and exfoliates in papery strips to reveal the yellow inner bark. Like all other figs, it contains a latex.
In the Near Orient, F. sycomorus is a tree of great importance and very extensive use. It has wide-spreading branches and affords a delightful shade. The ancient Egyptians cultivated this species “almost exclusively,” according to Zohary and Hopf (2000). Remains of F. sycomorus begin to appear in predynastic levels, and in quantity from the start of the third millennium B.C.E. Zohary and Hopf (2000) note that, “the fruit and the timber, and sometimes even the twigs, are richly represented in the tombs of Early, Middle, and Late Kingdoms. In numerous cases the parched sycons bear characteristic gashing marks indicating that this art, which induces ripening, was practiced in Egypt in ancient times.”
This species of fig requires the presence of the symbiotic wasp Ceratosolen arabicus in order to reproduce sexually. In the absence of this wasp, the plant is propagated by breaking off a branch and planting it. Although this insect is extinct in Egypt, Zohay and Hopf (2000) have no doubt that Egypt was “the principal area of sycamore fig development.” Some of the caskets of mummies in Egypt are made from the wood of this tree.
In the Bible, Amos 7:14 refers to the fruit of the sycamore, which is of an inferior character; so also probably Jeremiah 24:2. At Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore-tree to see Jesus as he passed by (Luke 19:4).
|Sycamore Maple leaves|
| Acer pseudoplatanus
Acer pseudoplatanus is commonly known as sycamore in many parts of Europe, sycamore maple in North America, and plane in Scotland. It is one of the most common maples in Europe, native to central Europe, from France east to Poland, and south in the mountains to northern Spain and Turkey. Sycamore maples now occur throughout the British Isles, having been introduced in the seventeenth century (Preston and Dines 2002).
A. pseudoplatanus is a deciduous tree that reaches 20 to 35 meters (65 to 115 feet) tall at maturity, with a broad, domed crown. On young trees, the bark is smooth and gray, but becomes rougher with age and breaks up in scales, exposing the pale-brown-to-pinkish inner bark.
The leaves are opposite, 10-25 centimeters long, and broad with a 5-15 centimeter petiole, palmately-veined with five lobes with toothed edges, and dark green in color. Some cultivars have purple-tinged or yellowish leaves.
The monoecious yellow-green flowers are produced in spring on 10-20 centimeters pendulous racemes, with 20-50 flowers on each stalk. The 5-10 millimeter diameter seeds are paired in samaras, each seed with a 20-40 millimeters long wing to catch the wind and rotate when they fall; this helps them to spread further from the parent tree. The seeds are mature in autumn about 6 months after pollination.
The sycamore maple is noted for its tolerance of wind, urban pollution, and salt spray, which makes it a popular tree for planting in cities, along roads treated with salt in winter, and in coastal localities. It is cultivated and widely naturalized north of its native range in northern Europe, notably in the British Isles and Scandinavia north to Tromsø, Norway; Reykjavík, Iceland; and Torshavn on the Faroe Islands. In North America, escapes from cultivation are most common in New England, New York City, and the Pacific Northwest. It is planted in many temperate parts of the Southern Hemisphere, most commonly in New Zealand and on the Falkland Islands. The popular cultivar “Brilliantissimum” is notable for the bright salmon-pink color of the young foliage.
Sycamore is planted for timber production; the wood is white with a silky luster, and hard-wearing, used for furniture and flooring. Occasional trees produce wood with a wavy grain, greatly increasing the value for decorative veneers. European sycamore is a traditional wood used in creating necks, backs, and scrolls for violins.
Sycamore flowers produce abundant nectar, which makes a fragrant, delicately flavored and pale-colored honey.
Stages in opening leaf buds.
Leaves and fruit of a London Plane
The genus Platanus is a small genus of trees native to the Northern Hemisphere. They are the sole members of the family Platanaceae. While known as sycamores in North America, they are known as planes in Europe. They are mostly found in riparian or other wetland habitats in the wild, though proving drought tolerant in cultivation away from streams.
Members of Platanus are all large trees, up to 30–50 meters tall (98-164 feet). With the exception of P. kerrii, which is evergreen, they are all deciduous.
The flowers are reduced and are borne in balls (globose head); 3–7 hairy sepals may be fused at base, and the petals are 3–7 (or none) and spathulate. Male and female flowers are separate, but on the same plant (monoecious). The number of heads in one cluster (inflorescence) is indicative of the species (see table below). The male flower has with 3–8 stamens; the female has a superior ovary with 3–7 carpels. Plane trees are wind-pollinated. Male balls fall off the branch after shedding their pollen. The female flowers, on the other hand, remain attached to the branch firmly.
Bole of an aged Platanus, in Trsteno, near Dubrovnik, Croatia
After being pollinated, the female flowers become achenes that aggregate on the ball. Typically, the core of the ball is 1 centimeter in diameter and is covered with a net of mesh 1 millimeter, which can be peeled off. The ball is 2.5–4 centimeters in diameter and contains several hundred achenes, each of which has a single seed and is conical, with the point attached downward to the net at the surface of the ball. There is also a tuft of many thin stiff yellow-green bristle fibers attached to the base of each achene. These bristles help in wind dispersion of the fruits like dandelion.
The mature bark peels (exfoliates) off easily in irregularly shaped patches, producing a mottled, scaly appearance. Very old bark may not flake off, but can crack instead. The base of the leaf stalk (petiole) is enlarged and completely wraps around the young stem bud in its axil. The bud will be exposed only after the leaf falls off.
There are two subgenera, subgenus Castaneophyllum containing the anomalous P. kerrii, and subgenus Platanus, with all the others. Recent studies in Mexico (Nixon and Poole 2003) have increased the number of accepted species in this subgenus. Within subgenus Platanus, genetic evidence suggests that P. racemosa is more closely related to P. orientalis than it is to the other North American species (Feng et al. 2005). There are fossil records of Platanus trees as early as 115 million years (the Lower Cretaceous). Despite the geographic separation between North America and Europe, species from these continents will cross readily resulting in fertile hybrids.
The following are recognized species of the Platanus genus:
|Scientific name||Common name||Distribution||flowerheads||Notes|
|Platanus chiapensis||Chiapas Plane||southeast Mexico||?||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus gentryi||Gentry’s Plane||western Mexico||?||Subgenus Platanus|
| Platanus × hispanica
(P. occidentalis × P. orientalis;
syn. P. × acerifolia)
|London Plane||Cultivated origin||1-6||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus kerrii||Kerr’s Plane||Laos, Vietnam||10-12||Subgenus Castaneophyllum|
|Platanus mexicana||Mexican Plane||northeast and central Mexico||2-4||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus oaxacana||Oaxaca Plane||southern Mexico||?||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus occidentalis||American Sycamore, American Plane or Buttonwood||eastern North America||1-2||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus orientalis||Oriental Plane||southeast Europe, southwest Asia||3-6||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus racemosa||California Sycamore||California||3-7||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus rzedowskii||Rzedowski’s Plane||eastern Mexico||?||Subgenus Platanus|
|Platanus wrightii||Arizona Sycamore||Arizona, New Mexico, northwest Mexico||2-4||Subgenus Platanus|
All links retrieved January 15, 2020.
- Botany of Plane trees.
- Flora of North America: Platanus.
New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:
- Sycamore history
- Ficus_sycomorus history
- Acer_pseudoplatanus history
- Platanus history
The history of this article since it was imported to New World Encyclopedia:
- History of “Sycamore”
Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed.
Not to be confused with Acer pseudoplatanus found in Europe or Ficus sycomorus in Africa and the Middle East.
Platanus occidentalis, also known as American sycamore, American planetree, western plane, occidental plane, buttonwood, and water beech, is a species of Platanus native to the eastern and central United States, the mountains of northeastern Mexico, extreme southern Ontario, and possibly extreme southern Quebec. It is usually called sycamore in North America, a name which can refer to other types of tree in other parts of the world.
The species epithet occidentalis is Latin for “western”, referring to the Western Hemisphere, because at the time when it was named by Carl Linnaeus, the only other species in the genus was P. orientalis (“eastern”), native to the Eastern Hemisphere.
An American sycamore tree can often be easily distinguished from other trees by its mottled bark which flakes off in great irregular masses, leaving the surface mottled and gray, greenish-white and brown. The bark of all trees has to yield to a growing trunk by stretching, splitting, or infilling. The sycamore shows the process more openly than many other trees. The explanation is found in the rigid texture of the bark tissue which lacks the elasticity of the bark of some other trees, so it is incapable of stretching to accommodate the growth of the wood underneath, so the tree sloughs it off.
A sycamore can grow to massive proportions, typically reaching up to 30 to 40 m (98 to 131 ft) high and 1.5 to 2 m (4.9 to 6.6 ft) in diameter when grown in deep soils. The largest of the species have been measured to 53 m (174 ft), and nearly 4 m (13 ft) in diameter. Larger specimens were recorded in historical times. In 1744, a Shenandoah Valley settler named Joseph Hampton and two sons lived for most of the year in a hollow sycamore in what is now Clarke County, Virginia. In 1770, at Point Pleasant, Virginia (now in West Virginia) near the junction of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, George Washington recorded in his journal a sycamore measuring 13.67 m (44 ft 10 in) in circumference at 91 cm (3 ft) from the ground.
The sycamore tree is often divided near the ground into several secondary trunks, very free from branches. Spreading limbs at the top make an irregular, open head. Roots are fibrous. The trunks of large trees are often hollow.
Another peculiarity is the way the leaves grow sticky, green buds. In early August, most trees in general will have—nestled in the axils of their leaves—the tiny forming bud which will produce the leaves of the coming year. The sycamore branch apparently has no such buds. Instead there is an enlargement of the petiole which encloses the bud in a tight-fitting case at the base of the petiole.
- Bark: Dark reddish brown, broken into oblong plate-like scales; higher on the tree, it is smooth and light gray; separates freely into thin plates which peel off and leave the surface pale yellow, or white, or greenish. Branchlets at first pale green, coated with thick pale tomentum, later dark green and smooth, finally become light gray or light reddish brown.
- Wood: Light brown, tinged with red; heavy, weak, difficult to split. Largely used for furniture and interior finish of houses, butcher’s blocks. Specific gravity, 0.5678; relative density, 0.53724 g/cm3 (33.539 lb/cu ft).
- Winter buds: Large, stinky, sticky, green, and three-scaled, they form in summer within the petiole of the full grown leaf. The inner scales enlarge with the growing shake. There is no terminal bud.
- Leaves: Alternate, palmately nerved, broadly ovate or orbicular, 10 to 23 cm (4 to 9 in) inches long, truncate or cordate or wedge-shaped at base, decurrent on the petiole. Three to five-lobed by broad shallow sinuses rounded in the bottom; lobes acuminate, toothed, or entire, or undulate. They come out of the bud plicate, pale green coated with pale tomentum; when full grown are bright yellow green above, paler beneath. In autumn they turn brown and wither before falling. Petioles long, abruptly enlarged at base and inclosing the buds. Stipules with spreading, toothed borders, conspicuous on young shoots, caducous.
- Flowers: May, with the leaves; monoecious, borne in dense heads. Staminate and pistillate heads on separate peduncles. Staminate heads dark red, on axillary peduncles; pistillate heads light green tinged with red, on longer terminal peduncles. Calyx of staminate flowers three to six tiny scale-like sepals, slightly united at the base, half as long as the pointed petals. Of pistillate flowers three to six, usually four, rounded sepals, much shorter than the acute petals. Corolla of three to six thin scale-like petals.
- Stamens: In staminate flowers as many of the divisions of the calyx and opposite to them; filaments short; anthers elongated, two-celled; cells opening by lateral slits; connectives hairy.
- Pistil: Ovary superior, one-celled, sessile, ovate-oblong, surrounded at base by long, jointed, pale hairs; styles long, incurved, red, stigmatic, ovules one or two.
- Fruit: Brown heads, solitary or rarely clustered, 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter, hanging on slender stems three to six inches long; persistent through the winter. These heads are composed of achenes about two-thirds of an inch in length. October.
Close-up of the characteristic bark.
A sycamore in winter.
Old sycamores can have massive trunks
Tree in autumn
Upper branches of a sycamore
Sycamore trunk and branches
In its native range, it is often found in riparian and wetland areas. The range extends from Iowa to Ontario and Maine in the north, Nebraska in the west, and south to Texas and Florida. Closely related species (see Platanus) occur in Mexico and the southwestern states of the United States. It is sometimes grown for timber, and has become naturalized in some areas outside its native range. It can be found growing successfully in Bismarck, North Dakota, and it is sold as far south as Okeechobee. The American sycamore is also well adapted to life in Argentina and Australia and is quite widespread across the Australian continent especially in the cooler southern states such as Victoria and New South Wales.
Wood of the Platanus occidentalis. From Romeyn Beck Hough’s fourteen-volume work The American Woods, a collection of over 1000 paper-thin wood samples representing more than 350 varieties of North American tree.
The American sycamore is able to endure a big city environment and was formerly extensively planted as a shade tree, but due to the defacing effects of anthracnose it has been largely usurped in this function by the resistant London plane.
Its wood has been used extensively for butcher’s blocks. It has been used for boxes and crates; although coarse-grained and difficult to work, it has also been used to make furniture, siding, and musical instruments.
Investigations have been made into its use as a biomass crop.
Pests and diseases
The American sycamore is a favored food plant of the pest sycamore leaf beetle.
American sycamore is susceptible to plane anthracnose disease (Apiognomonia veneta, syn. Gnomonia platani), an introduced fungus found naturally on the Oriental plane P. orientalis, which has evolved considerable resistance to the disease. Although rarely killed or even seriously harmed, American sycamore is commonly partially defoliated by the disease, rendering it unsightly as a specimen tree.
Sometimes mistaken for frost damage, the disease manifests in early spring, wilting new leaves and causing mature leaves to turn brown along the veins. Infected leaves typically shrivel and fall, so that by summer the tree is regrowing its foliage. Cankers form on twigs and branches near infected leaves, serving to spread the disease by spore production and also weakening the tree. Because cankers restrict the flow of nutrients, twigs and branches afflicted by cankers eventually die. Witch’s broom is a symptom reflecting the cycle of twigs dying.
As a result of the fungus’ damage, American sycamore is often avoided as a landscape tree, and the more resistant London plane (P. × hispanica; hybrid P. occidentalis × P. orientalis) is planted instead.
The terms under which the New York Stock Exchange was formed are called the “Buttonwood Agreement,” because it was signed under a buttonwood (sycamore) tree at 68 Wall Street, New York City in 1792.
The sycamore made up a large part of the forests of Greenland and Arctic America during the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. It once grew abundantly in central Europe, from which it has now disappeared. It was brought to Europe early in the 17th century.
- Buttonball Tree, an American sycamore, said to be the largest on the East Coast, located in Sunderland, Massachusetts
- Pinchot Sycamore, an American sycamore that is the largest tree in Connecticut
- Webster Sycamore, formerly the largest American sycamore in West Virginia
- Sycamore maple or European sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), a maple which is visually very similar to sycamore
- University of Michigan at Dearborn: Native American Ethnobotany of Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
- Cirrusimage.com: American Sycamore — diagnostic photographs and information
- Forestry.about.com: American sycamore – Platanus occidentalis
- Bioimages.vanderbilt.edu: photos of Platanus occidentalis
- Wikidata: Q157739
- Wikispecies: Platanus occidentalis
- AoFP: 3828
- APA: 2858
- BioLib: 3491
- Calflora: 9388
- EoL: 594855
- EPPO: PLTOC
- FEIS: plaocc
- FNA: 200010589
- FoC: 200010589
- GBIF: 3152820
- GRIN: 28802
- iNaturalist: 49662
- IPNI: 685871-1
- IRMNG: 11133532
- ITIS: 19020
- IUCN: 61956705
- MichiganFlora: 1988
- MoBotPF: 285137
- NBN: NBNSYS0000042165
- NCBI: 4403
- NZOR: fa527901-8108-49c8-b313-4834422a3212
- Plant List: kew-2570459
- PLANTS: PLOC
- POWO: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:685871-1
- Tropicos: 25300003
- VASCAN: 7350
- WisFlora: 4536