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plane tree

plane tree, sycamore, or buttonwood, any species of the genus Platanus, deciduous trees of most temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, exclusive of Africa. The hairy, dry, seedlike fruits are densely packed into a hard brown ball, hence the name buttonwood. The large American sycamore, or plane (P. occidentalis), supplies a hardwood popular for carpentry, furniture, and butchers' blocks. The Oriental plane (P. orientalis) of the Mediterranean area and W Asia is used for wood pulp. The London plane (P. acerifolia), sometimes miscalled Oriental plane, is much planted as an ornamental shade tree in cities; it is probably a hybrid of the American and Oriental planes. Sycamore is sometimes spelled sycomore, but should not be confused with the unrelated sycomore fig (Ficus sycomorus) of the family Moraceae. Plane trees are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Hamamelidales, family Platanaceae.

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Platanaceae

Platanaceae A family of deciduous trees which comprises only 1 genus, Platanus. Plane trees have flaking bark, buds enclosed in petiole bases, and alternate, stipulate, palmately lobed leaves. The flowers are tiny, in several globular heads arranged along a stalk and forming a catkin, each catkin either of male or female flowers. Male flowers each have 3–5 stamens within a tiny cup, female flowers have 5–9 carpels in a calyx cup. Numerous hairs surround the nutlets in the globular fruiting heads. There are some 6 species in south-eastern Europe, south-western Asia, and N. America. They are much planted, especially in towns.

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plane

plane1 tree of the genus Platanus. XIV. — (O)F.:— L. platanus — Gr. plátanos, f. stem of platús broad.

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Platanus

Platanus (plane tree) See PLATANACEAE.

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plane tree

plane tree See PLATANUS.

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