Hispanics by the Thames

DAY 27 (2 MAY) – London plane (platanus hispanica) (South Bank, London)

Author William Boyd said the plane tree “should be incorporated into the city’s crest so omnipresent is it in London’s streets and in its parks.” They are the tallest trees in London, and the first were introduced from Spain in the 17th century.

Apparently it’s a hybrid of planatus orientalis (oriental plane) and platanus occidentalis (American sycamore). It sheds its bark, leaving a painterly camouflage pattern, a process that’s believed to make it more resistant to the capital’s polluting toxins.

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