Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Bark splitting in old tulip tree in Red Creek, NY.
May 18, 2013 - Hello, We have a tulip tree that has some bark splitting I guess I would call it. The tree is older and very tall. On the north side of it starting at the bottom of the trunk to about 8-9 feet up i...
view the full question and answer

Texas native peach from Elmendorf TX
January 30, 2013 - Does Texas have a native peach tree that grows wild?
view the full question and answer

Can a soapberry tree be grown in Colorado Springs?
May 04, 2010 - I live in Colorado Springs and I was wondering if it is possible to grow a soapberry tree here?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for Phoenix
November 17, 2013 - I need your help. I'm looking for a pretty evergreen tree for my small front yard in Phoenix. One that is not horribly messy and doesn't get wider that 10 - 15 ft. I want to be able to decorate at...
view the full question and answer

Yellow in pin oak leaves from Allen TX
May 25, 2012 - I have two pin oaks and one is completely yellow - a sign of iron deficiency and the other is starting to turn completely yellow as well. I've a proposal for iron deficiency but it is quite expensiv...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.