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Platanus racemosa

California Sycamore
  • Plant Type:
  • Tree
  • Evergreen-Deciduous:
  • Deciduous
  • Overall Mature Size:
  • Large
  • Also Grown As:
  • Multi Trunk, Standard Tree
  • Mature Height & Spread :
  • 30-80' x 20-50'
  • Natural Growth Habit:
  • Irregular
  • Native To:
  • California, Mexico and Central America
  • Exposure:
  • Full Sun
  • Water:
  • High Water, Medium Water
  • Flower Color:
  • Insignificant
  • Special Features:
  • Attractive Bark, Attracts Birds/Butterflies, Desert Conditions, Drought Resistant, Fall Color
  • Container Sizes:
  • #15, 24" Box, 36" Box, 48" Box
  • Sunset Garden Zones:
  • 4-24

A BIT MORE...

A true California native, this is a tree often associated with riverbanks but has adapted to myriad climates. Western Garden allows it in zones 4-24. Few trees are more distinctive with its peeling but smooth white, gray, and brown bark undulating nearly to the ground in some specimens. Sycamores are often admired for their trunk’s considerable girth and undulating angles. Its rapid rate of growth yields mature specimens of 30-80 feet tall and 20-50 feet wide. The vibrant green maple-like leaves emerge in the spring but mellow to brown or yellow by fall. The foliage has five deep lobes that resemble little hands. These are followed by hanging seed pods that persist through winter. They can be striking in the winter with their nearly white bark emerging from low growing shrubs in canyon habitats or simply in a park or lawn as a contrast to winter’s muted colors. It can be made a multi-trunk or single/standard tree should more height be desired. It will tolerate considerable heat and wind if given enough water. It grows best in well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients and in full sun. Drought resistant and excellent on the coast or inland, it is also fire defensible. As a quintessential Californian, it will grow more unique with age.