Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker -
Plane Tree Fairy
will not find him in the wood,
Nor in the country lane;
But in the city's parks and streets
You'll see the Plane.
O turn your eyes from pavements grey,
And look you up instead,
To where the Plane tree's pretty balls
When he has shed his golden leaves,
His balls will yet remain,
To deck the tree until the Spring
Comes back again!
Tree or Sycamore (platanus)
The sycamore is fast growing and sun-loving, "growing seventy feet in seventeen years" on a good site. Very often it divides into two or more trunks near the ground and its massive branches form a wide-spreading, irregular crown. Mature trees usually develop hollow portions and areas of decay making then vulnerable to wind and ice.
The outer bark peels away to create a mottled patchwork of tans, whites, grays, greens and sometimes yellows. The inner bark is usually smooth. The leaves are very large with 3 to 5 leaf lobes and are often 7 to 8 inches long and wide.
The tree was probably named by early colonists who noted a resemblance to the English sycamore maple.
The sycamore tree of the Bible is actually the sycamore fig (Ficus
sycomorus). A hybrid developed from the American sycamore, called the London
plane tree, has become the urban tree of choice in North America and Europe.
Sycamore seeds accompanied the lunar orbit of Apollo 14 in 1971 and were planted across from Philadelphia's Independence Hall.
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