There is but a trifling difference in general effect between our plane or buttonwood and the Oriental plane. For the purposes of shade and shelter, the American is the finest, as its foliage is the longest and broadest. The Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) has the leaves lobed like our native kind (P. occidentalis), but the segments are much more deeply cut; the footstalks of its leaves are green, while those of the American are of a reddish hue, and the fruit or ball is much smaller and rougher on the outer surface when fully grown. Both species are common in the nurseries, and are worthy the attention of the planter; the Oriental, as well for the interesting associations connected with it, being the favorite shade-tree of the east, etc., as for its intrinsic merits as a lofty and majestic tree.
Two of the varieties of P. occidentalis are sometimes cultivated, the chief of which is the Maple-leaved plane (P. O. acerifolia).