En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - December 28, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Inflorescence of the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What kind of flower inflorescence do sycamores have?

ANSWER:

The flowers on Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore), unlike the familiar fruits, are small and inconspicuous. The trees are monoecious, i.e., both male and female flowers, although on different stalks, are together on the same tree. Here is a description of the flowers from the Alabama Forestry Service:

"FLOWERS: Appear on the growth of the season when the leaves are about l/4 developed,
monoecious, borne in capitate heads, staminate and pistillate flower heads on different
stalks; staminate are axillary and dark red; pistillate terminal, greenish, often tinged with
red."

You can see more photos of P. occidentalis, from Ontario Trees & Shrubs.
 

More Trees Questions

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRANDYWINE MAPLE AND BIGTOOTH MAPLE - GEORGETOWN, TX
October 12, 2010 - We live in the Georgetown area (north of Austin). We have a maple tree, that had a tag that read Brandywine. We wanted a bigtooth maple. What is the difference between what we have and what we want...
view the full question and answer

Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage from Gray GA
April 15, 2014 - Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage?
view the full question and answer

Plant barrier to block view and noise of Florida Turnpike
August 05, 2009 - I live in Port St Lucie FL and my development backs to Florida turnpike. We want to plant to block noise and view. Any suggestions? thank you
view the full question and answer

Small native flowering tree for Virginia
September 21, 2009 - Could you recommend a small flowering tree (8-10' mature size) to plant in front garden next to the house. Full sun. Something that doesn't have invasive roots that would damage the house. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

A Crabapple for the Austin, TX area.
May 06, 2014 - I am in search of crab apples. Don't they grow in Austin? I can not seem to be able to locate any here. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center