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Platanus orientalis - L.                
Common Name Oriental Plane, Oriental planetree
Family Platanaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards In hot dry climates the hairs of the fruits and leaves are believed to cause an effect similar to hay fever[11, 200].
Habitats By rivers in forests in the hills[89].
Range S.E. Europe to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Platanus orientalis is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Oct to February. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Synonyms P. vulgaris.
Platanus orientalis Oriental Plane, Oriental planetree

Platanus orientalis Oriental Plane, Oriental planetree
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Ophthalmic;  Vulnerary.

The leaves are astringent and vulnerary[7]. The fresh leaves are bruised and applied to the eyes in the treatment of ophthalmia[240]. A decoction is used to treat dysentery and a cream made from the leaves is used to heal wounds and chilblains[7]. The leaves are harvested in the spring and summer and can be dried for later use[7]. The bark is boiled in vinegar and then used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, hernias and toothache[240].
Other Uses
Dye;  Wood.

A fabric dye is obtained from the branches and roots[7]. The colour is not given[K]. Wood - tough, difficult to split, not durable. It is not esteemed for carpentry, but has certain advantages in cabinet making[7], it is also used for inlay work and wood pulp[46, 61, 89].
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a sunny position in a deep fertile well-drained soil[188]. A fast growing species, established plants are drought tolerant[200]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and compacted soils[200]. This species is hardy in most areas of Britain but the trees do not do well in northern parts of the country, requiring hotter summers than are normally experienced there[98]. A very ornamental and very long lived tree[1]. It is immune to 'Plane tree wilt' fungus[11]. Very tolerant of root disturbance, trees up to 5 metres tall can be moved quite easily[200].
Seed - two months cold stratification improves germination[113]. Sow spring in a cold frame in light shade[78, 98]. Home grown seed is often of poor quality and low viability. It is best to harvest the seed in late winter or spring and then sow it immediately in a cold frame[80]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of mature wood of the current years growth, 20 - 30 cm with a heel, autumn in a cold frame[1]. Easy[200]. Layering of stools in spring or autumn. Takes 12 months[78].
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Acer pseudoplatanusSycamore, Great Maple, Scottish Maple, Planetree Maple21
Platanus occidentalisButtonwood, American sycamore, American Planetree, Sycamore, American Sycamore12
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[89]Polunin. O. and Huxley. A. Flowers of the Mediterranean.
A very readable pocket flora that is well illustrated. Gives some information on plant uses.
[98]Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs.
Very comprehensive guide to growing trees and shrubs from seed. Not for the casual reader.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Marcelo De Almeida Tue Nov 13 2007
I am an American living many years in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The city i live in is called Petropolis, which is at an altitude of 3,000ft and for this reason was considered a place of botanic variety by the many aristocratic families of the 1800s, including the then king of Portugal and Brazil. Consequently, many London Planes exist and I am planting them all around my house. I do,however, believe that the Oriental Plane is possibly the most exotic, as the leaves are so deeply cut. My question is if there exists a possibility of someone who has a deeply lobed (Chanar) and would be interested in trading it for an exotic plant here from Brazil? Also some books say that Plane trees produce drinkable sap which can be boiled into syrup. Do you agree with this, and if so, how old does the tree have to be in order to collect the sap? Thankyou for your time. Sinceraly, Marcelo De Almeida. londonplanetree@gmail.com
Elizabeth H.
shirin ahmadi Sun Apr 26 2009
I have been looking for this tree for a year since I moved to Suberb of Chicago, Just found out the name of this variety which I consider it a success! However no growers or nursery I have checked with carry Sycamore tree, apparently not an admired tree in this part of US?! I love this variety, if anyone knows a grower/nurser who sell it please send me the info, thanks a million.
Elizabeth H.
nancy mohass Sat May 30 2009
in Iran they make extract using the leaf to be used internaly, but i don't know what is the herbal benifit? does anyone know, please make a comment.
Elizabeth H.
Masa R. Toguchi Tue Jun 30 2009
My name is Masa from Everett,Washington. Please tell me if Platanus orientalis can transplant DURING THE MONTH OF JULY-AUGUST in hot air tempartures. Thank you very much. Masa
Elizabeth H.
Haiyan Li Thu Jul 16 2009
I was raised in Qingdao, China. This tree has been the major street trees in our beautiful coastal city. Now I live in Los Angeles. I wonder if this tree can grow well in this climate. I would like to plant one in front of our house. Where would I be able to buy this tree? Thanks a million.
Elizabeth H.
Anupam Siddharth Sat Nov 14 2009
Hey, i am in Delhi could you tell me if i can plant Platanus orientalis here if yes, then from where can i get the sappling ?
Elizabeth H.
Thomas Skinfill Tue Dec 15 2009
to Haiyan Lee; Here in LA Platanus orientalis will grow but without the colder winters, it never will look quite as good as other species of Plantanus more adaptable to warm climates, such as Platanus acerifolia-London Plane Tree, the native California Sycamore - Plat. racemosa, or Plat. wrightii- Arizona Sycamore. Orientalis is a beautiful tree however. T Skinfill - Landscape Architect.
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