Greek Platanus—ancient name for the Oriental Plane
Deciduous trees. Bark flaking in flat plates. Leaves alternate, 3-5(-9) lobed, with star-shaped hairs. Stipules conspicuous. Flowers insignificant in round clusters. Fruits in round, hanging balls on a long stalk.
A prominent fossil genus that dates back about 100 million years.
A mildew Oidium obductum Ell. & Langl. was first observed in 1977 in inner Melbourne and is now probably widespread along the east coast; it produces fluffy, powdery mats on the leaves which crinkle when infected; young shoots are also attacked but old leaves are rarely infected. The fungus overwinters in the bud scales and on fruits. Control methods have not been explored yet.
Mostly by hardwood cuttings and layers in late autumn and early winter. Seed is satisfactory if sown immediately but will not grow true from the hybrid London Plane.
Characteristic mottled, scaling bark; palmately-lobed leaves; fruit balls on long stalks.
About 7 species from N America, Mexico, Europe and E Asia.
Hadfield (1960), Bean (1976a), Meikle (1985), Santamour & McArdle (1986).
Source: (1997). Platanaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.