The leaves are opposite,
7-16 cm long, with 5 coarsely-toothed lobes. They are green and hairless
above, paler and hairy only on the veins
below. The leaf-stalks, 10-20 cm long, are often red.
Sycamore is an
introduced deciduous tree, with
a stout trunk. It grows up to 35 m in height and has a massive, rounded
outline and dense foliage. The grey bark is fissured and turns pinkish-brown
with age. It was originally planted but is now widely naturalized
from seed in woods, plantations and hedgerows.
Sprays of yellowish-green,
5-petalled flowers hang downwards, appearing with the leaves in May.
The join between
the 2 winged fruits or 'samaras', each 3.5-5 cm long, forms a right-angle,
The leaves may
be blotched by a fungus called 'tar spot', which is harmless.
wood is used for furniture-making, veneers and in musical instruments.
is very tolerant of salt-laden winds, hence it is the most successful
planted tree in Outer Isles like Orkney and Shetland.
It is native
of the mountains of Central and Southern Europe introduced to Britain
many centuries ago.