Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Platanus racemosa
Platanus racemosa

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 4-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Platanus racemosa

California Sycamore
Platanaceae
Deciduous, Trees

PLATANUS

These trees are all large, with a heavy trunk (or trunks) and a sculptural branch pattern. Older bark sheds in patches to reveal pale, smooth new bark beneath. Big, rough-surfaced leaves (to 10 in. across) have three to five lobes and resemble maple (Acer) leaves. Fall foliage color is yellowish to brown, not striking. Ball-shaped brown seed clusters, usually on threadlike stalks, hang on the bare branches through winter; these are prized for winter arrangements. Best in rich, deep, moist, well-drained soil. All are subject to anthracnose, which causes early leaf drop and twig dieback. Rake up and dispose of dead leaves, since fungus spores can overwinter on them. Chlorosis may be a problem in the desert.

Platanus racemosa

Robust native of California foothills and Coast Ranges; grows near streams in the wild. Fast rate of growth to 30–80 ft. tall and 20–50 ft. wide, frequently with multiple or leaning trunks. Smooth branches are often gracefully twisted and contorted. Attractive, patchy bark in brown, gray, and white. Deeply lobed leaves turn dusty brown early in autumn; in mild coastal climates, they hang on until new growth starts. In winter, virtually stemless seed balls are carried three to seven along a single stalk. Tolerates much heat and wind. With careful pruning, can be trained into a picturesque multitrunked clump. For a large informal or wild garden.

You Might Also Like...

Eucalyptus parvula

Hardy to 0°F (–18°C); one of the hardiest eucalypts. Upright, spreading tree to 25&ndash...

Eucalyptus perriniana

Grows to 12–30 ft. tall and wide.

Eucalyptus nicholii

Grows to 36–48 ft. high and 15–36 ft. wide. Narrow, 3–5-in.-long, light green leaves...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement