New Mexico Plants: Plane Tree Family



Hover over a photo series to control the images.

London Plane Tree (Platanus hybrida)

As I was walking across Montaño Bridge in Albuquerque, I spotted two London plane trees growing on an island in the Rio Grande. London plane trees are a popular landscaping option in Albuquerque, including in parking lots, so it's not surprising to find that the species has escaped. 


If you look at these and think "sycamore," you're not the only one. London plane trees probably are a hybrid of the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and the oriental plane (Platanus orientalis). None of the North American sycamores are native to the Albuquerque area, but London plane trees are a handsome substitute. The Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii) does extend into southwest New Mexico.


You may find the species listed as Platanus × acerifolia or Platanus × hispanica.