Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: California Sycamore
Platanus racemosa

Family: Platanaceae
Genus: Platanus (PLAT-an-us) (Info)
Species: racemosa (ray-see-MO-suh) (Info)


over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #1 of Platanus racemosa by Ulrich

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #2 of Platanus racemosa by Ulrich

By Kelli
Thumbnail #3 of Platanus racemosa by Kelli

By Gustichock
Thumbnail #4 of Platanus racemosa by Gustichock

By Gustichock
Thumbnail #5 of Platanus racemosa by Gustichock

By Gustichock
Thumbnail #6 of Platanus racemosa by Gustichock

By Kelli
Thumbnail #7 of Platanus racemosa by Kelli

There are a total of 18 photos.
Click here to view them all!


4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Campocalle On Sep 30, 2013, Campocalle from Redding, CA wrote:

The majestic California sycamore is an iconic tree of our state. It is quick and easy to grow, lives a very long time, has unique and untamed beauty while providing food, cover, and homes for birds, butterflies and other animals. It is deer resistant and can handle heat and drought as well as moisture and cold. Do not fault the tree for its susceptibility to anthracnose in certain areas. This is what helps to make the contorted and sculptural trunks we all love to see. Because so many types of nonnative Platanus have been introduced to California, be sure that you are planting the real thing - deeply lobed leaves rather than maple-like leaves. A little known fact is that this tree grows readily from dormant hardwood cuttings. So take a pencil-sized stick in late winter and root it in perlite. I did this last February, and my baby trees are already four feet tall, and will soon shade our home.

Positive ogon On Aug 19, 2011, ogon from Paradise, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

P racemosa should be planted in CA rather than the P. acerifolia commonly sold at nurseries and found in mall and office complexes thoughout the state. P. racemosa is native and well adapted to the dry heat of our summers. P. acerifolia struggles to grow and survive, particularly those planted in the Central Valley and other hot areas of the state. If you compare a P. racemosa and P. acerifolia planted in similar conditions around the same time, the P. racemosa will almost alway be taller and healthier.

Positive DisHammerhand On Jun 15, 2009, DisHammerhand from Fontana, CA wrote:

This tree's form makes it a picturesque sight whether it's near a stream or in someone's yard. The tree often has multiple trunks that lean this way and that. The tree has a pleasing sweet, slightly spicy aroma. New leaves are a more golden color and they are fuzzy. Ca Sycamore is especially lovely in spring when there are larger green leaves with smaller golden new leaves at the branch tips. There is a particularly large and beautiful tree growing next to the Aliso creek in Laguna Woods. Aliso is Spanish for Sycamore. The community of Aliso Viejo gets its name from that very tree.

Because of its tendency to run at the roots keep it far, far away from plumbing and septic systems. The confines of most suburban lots do not allow adequate distance to keep it out of the pipes. If you have the space for it, definitely choose it over London Plane. But if you need a better behaved tree, LP is a good second choice. Some cultivars have the same sweet smell.

Positive Chuck1260 On Mar 26, 2005, Chuck1260 from Arroyo Grande, CA wrote:

Beautiful CA native that grows mostly on the edges of creek banks and seasonal wet places. It will grow in other places with supplemental water. It gets very large. It has an irregular growing pattern, often collapsing on the ground and regrowing new branches and trunks. The bark color is outstanding. It does get anthracnose which causes leaf drop. But it generally does not hurt the plant and it releafs. It would make a good street tree for wide boulevards.

Neutral Glowclubbr On Sep 7, 2003, Glowclubbr from Silver Spring, MD wrote:

People in the Southwest should use this tree instead of the London Plane. A huge tree that can grow very quickly and exceed 100'.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Agoura Hills, California
Anaheim, California (2 reports)
Arroyo Grande, California
Calabasas, California
Chico, California (2 reports)
Fontana, California
Laguna Beach, California
Malibu, California
North Fork, California
Paradise, California
Redding, California
Redlands, California
Sacramento, California
San Marcos, California
Temecula, California

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America