This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Besides the following species, 2 others occur in the western United States and 3 in Mexico. Type species: Platanus orientalis L.
1. Platanus occidentÓlis L. Button-wood. Button-ball. Plane-tree. Fie. 2212.
Platanus occidentalis L. Sp. Pl 999. 1753.
A large tree; maximum height about 1300 and trunk diameter 14°; outer bark freely peeling off in thin plates, uncovering the bright white inner layers. Leaves orbicular, or wider than long, 4'-9' wide when mature, cordate or truncate at the base, 3-5-lobed, densely floccose-pubescent with whitish branched hairs when young, less so above and becoming nearly glabrous when old, the lobes mostly large, sharply serrate, or rarely entire; petiole mostly shorter than the blade; stipules with broad spreading toothed borders, conspicuous on young shoots; fruiting heads 1' in diameter, usually solitary, hanging on a long peduncle, persistent through the winter, the nutlets at length scattered by the wind.
Along streams and in wet woods, Maine to Ontario and Minnesota, Florida, Kansas and Texas. Wood hard, weak, difficult to split, reddish brown; weight per cubic foot 35 lbs. The largest tree of east America; often called sycamore. The outer bark of the lower part of old trunks does not freely exfoliate. False sycamore. Water-beech. May.