Plant Of The Week Mexican Sycamore

COMMON NAME:  Mexican Sycamore

BOTANICAL NAME:  Plantanus mexicana


Native to northeastern Mexico.  It is a large tree, reaching 60’ tall or more.  The lobed leaves are also large at up to 8” wide and are smooth green on the top but cottony white to silvery below.  It has attractive exfoliating bark that is white in winter.  It is well adapted to dry, rocky alkaline soils but adapts to moist soils as well.  As opposed to the native sycamore (P. occidentalis).  Mexican sycamore is a good choice for the Gulf Coast due to its tolerance of various soils.



EXPOSURE:  Full sun partial shade  

HEIGHT:  60 feet

SPREAD:  40 feet

NATURAL HABITAT AND PREFERRED SITE:  pyramidal growth habit, fast growing to a height of 60'-100' tall. 

IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION:  Leaves are broad about 8 inches across, with the margin having numerous teeth and slightly lobed.  The foliage is a medium green on the supper surface and white on the underside.  Foliage changes to yellow or orange if weather cooperates.

FLOWERS AND FRUIT: Flowers are inconspicuous followed by rounded, bristly fruit on long stalks. 

BARK:  Often are multi-trunked bearing smooth, mottled gray bark.

CULTURE:  Has spectacular silver-white undersides to the leaves & the foliage stays an attractive green into December. Then it loses all of its large leaves.  Not good near a pool.