1. Platanus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 999. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 433, 1754.
Sycamore, plane, platane, sycomore [Greek platanos, perhaps from platys, broad, for the wide leaves]
Leaves, twigs, and inflorescences densely invested with dendritic trichomes, at least when young; fragrance sometimes reminiscent of balsam poplars. Staminate flowers: sepals and petals 3-6+, petals nearly obsolete; pistillodes sometimes present; stamens as many as and opposite sepals, much exceeding tiny perianth, anthers subsessile, 4-sporangiate; dehiscence latrorse, the connective distally expanded into terminal, pubescent, peltate appendage. Pistillate flowers: sepals 3-4, petals absent; staminodes 3-4, prominent, club-shaped, tomentose; pistils 3-9, free; ovules 1(-2), pendulous, orthotropous; stigma 1, dark red, much elongate, conspicuous. Achenes falling with ring of subtending hairs attached.
In North America Platanus is usually called sycamore, a name apparently borrowed from the European sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus Linnaeus, which has similar leaves. That name in turn comes from the Middle Eastern sycomore fig, Ficus sycomorus Linnaeus, its specific epithet from the Greek sykomoros , mulberry.
Benson, L. D. 1943. Revisions of status of southwestern trees and shrubs. Amer. J. Bot. 30: 230-240. Santamour, F. S. Jr. 1972b. Interspecific hybridization in Platanus. Forest Sci. 18: 236-239.