AZ Arboretums

Platanus racemos

california sycamoreCommon: California sycamore
Family: Platanaceae
Sunset Zone: 4-24
Origin: Native of Southern California and Baja California, along streams in California foothills and Coast Ranges
Light: Full to reflected sun
Soil: Tolerant. Best with deep, loose, gravelly soil
Water: Requires deep periodic irrigation, more frequently in summer.

Striking branch structure. Uses as large lawn tree, in parks or roadsides. Informal or formal gardens with lots of space.

More irregular in appearance than London plane; trunks often divide into leaning or spreading secondary trunks. Branches often twisted or contorted.

Fast-growing, vigorous, to 50 or even 90 feet tall. 35-40 feet wide, deciduous.

Large velvety leaves, deeply lobed, maple-like. Yellowish-green; turn golden brown in fall. Four to nine inches long. Inconspicuous spring flowers produce decorative, bristly seed balls which hang in clusters. Susceptible to leaf miner, red spider mites. Tree leafs out early in the season, and new foliage is sometimes caught by late frost.