London plane

London Plane

©Chris Guise

London plane

Scientific name: Platanus x hispanica
The London plane tree is, as its name suggests, a familiar sight along the roadsides and in the parks of London. An introduced and widely planted species, it is tough enough to put up with city life.

Species information


Height: 18-35m

Conservation status

Introduced, non-native species.

When to see

January to December


The London plane tree is a tall, widely planted tree that can be found in parklands and by roadsides, particularly in London. It was first planted here in the 17th century and became prolific our towns in the 19th century, although it has never been found growing wild. It is a particularly popular choice for city planting because it rarely sheds its branches and is tough, putting up with the compacted soils and pollution of towns.

How to identify

London plane trees have large, sycamore-like leaves, fluffy fruits hanging in 'strings', and flaky, grey bark.


Widely planted in Southern England.

Did you know?

The London plane tree is actually a hybrid between the Oriental plane and the American plane.

How people can help

The green spaces in our towns cities can provide habitats for all kinds of wildlife and benefit us too. The Wildlife Trusts work with planners and local communities to encourage the inclusion of green space and planting within new building plans and to protect existing areas for future enjoyment. You can support this vital work by joining your local Wildlife Trust.