Large open deciduous trees with exfoliating bark. Twigs moderate, rounded, glabrous, buff, zigzag; pith moderate, white or brownish, rounded, continuous. Buds solitary, rather large, sessile, conical, with a single cap-like scale; end bud lacking. Leaf-scars alternate 2-ranked, ring-like and nearly encircling the buds; bundle-traces 5, 7, or 9, large; stipule-scars narrow, encircling the twig. Fruit a globose head of elongated obovoid achenes, each with a circle of upright brown hairs at the base.
Fig. 123. Platanus occidentalis.
1. P. occidentalis L. Sycamore. Buttonwood. Plane-tree. A tree 35-50 m. high, 1-3 m. in diameter; bark covered with broad curling scales which are shed off, exposing the smooth greenish-white surface; fruit-balls solitary, on long stalks, present in winter, but disintegrating as the season progresses. Rich moist soil, Maine to Ontario and Nebraska, south to Florida and Texas. The largest tree of the northeast (Fig. 123).