The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Plane trees, Platanaceae

Previous - Next

Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Platanace�. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) Mon�cia, Polyandria. The plane, Platanus, derives its name from &&&, broad, on account of the broad, umbrageous nature of its branches. It is a well known tree of the very largest size, common to both hemispheres, and greatly prized for the fine shade afforded by its spreading head, in the warmer parts of Europe and Asia. No tree was in greater esteem with the ancients for this purpose; and we are told that the Academic groves, the neighborhood of the public schools, and all those favorite avenues where the Grecian philosophers were accustomed to resort, were planted with these trees; and beneath their shade Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, delivered the choicest wisdom and eloquence of those classic days. The Eastern plane (Platanus orientalis) was first brought to the Roman provinces from Persia, and so highly was it esteemed that according to Pliny, the Morini paid a tribute to Rome for the privilege of enjoying its shade. To that author we are also indebted for the history of the great plane tree that grew in the province of Lycia, which was of so huge a size, that the governor of the province, Licinius Mutianus, together with eighteen of his retinue, feasted in the hollow of its trunk.