Dec 13 2011

Quiz: What Species?

Published by at 7:30 am under Quiz,Trees

Here’s a pattern I found in nature.   No two are alike.

What do you think it is?  The trick is in naming the species…

Leave a comment with your answer.

(photo by Kate St. John)

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Quiz: What Species?”

  1. Mary Ann Pikeon 13 Dec 2011 at 7:55 am

    I think it’s London Planetree, which the USDA plant database lists as “Platanus hybrida Brot. “, given that’s a very common tree in Pittsburgh. I am pretty sure this is not a native sycamore because the bark is green…American Sycamores generally have brown bark and the underlayer is gleaming white. Although I wouldn’t be able to identify an Oriental Planetree by sight since I’m not familiar enough with them.

  2. Anthony H. Bledsoeon 13 Dec 2011 at 8:12 am

    American Sycamore. Or perhaps an introduced species of planetree.

  3. Joshon 13 Dec 2011 at 8:15 am

    Best guess is sycamore, mais que sais je?

  4. TheWildSowon 13 Dec 2011 at 8:43 am

    Oh, looks like the Sycamore trees in the front yard!

  5. Peggyon 13 Dec 2011 at 8:52 am

    My guess: Sycamore. Also called Plane Tree, I think.
    Species? Gee, that’s the kind of thing you teach us, Kate!

  6. Stephenon 13 Dec 2011 at 9:10 am

    Suggests birch, but I’m going with American Sycamore, due to the broad pattern, and white bark with some brown (London Plane is more yellow, I think).

  7. kcon 13 Dec 2011 at 9:50 am

    Sycamore….but don’t now beyond that.

  8. Marlaon 13 Dec 2011 at 9:54 am

    I have one in my front yard! I always thought it was a Sycamore, but I recently learned that it’s a London Plane.

  9. Kate St. Johnon 13 Dec 2011 at 10:30 am

    Several of you have the right answer. This is the bark on one of Schenley Park’s London plane trees, planted in the late 1920’s. The scientific name of these trees is Platanus × acerifolia because they are a hybrid of the Oriental plane tree and the American sycamore. London Plane tree bark looks brown from a distance, American sycamores look white. This photo is too small to give you a good look at the whole tree so, yes, it’s a trick question.

    Here’s more information on the diversity of London Plane trees in Schenley Park, thanks to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy:

  10. Ramona sahnion 14 Dec 2011 at 7:02 pm


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