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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, High Altitude, Cultivated, Native of Eurasia"
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Derivation of specific name

orientalis: oriental, eastern
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

Range Description

Very widespread ranging from the east Mediterranean throughout the middle east to the south-east provinces of the Euro-Siberian region.
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Tamil Nadu: Dindigul
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Distribution: S.E. Europe to Turkey, N. Iran, Central and W. Asia, Afgha¬nistan, India and Pakistan.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Tree up to 25 m tall. Young leaves and shoots tomentose; tomentum deciduous, stellate, each hair 7-10 rayed with one long central hair. Leaves 5-7-lobed, 8-24 cm long, 12-30 cm broad; lobes coarsely toothed, glabrous; petiole 3-5 cm long. Stipules 2, c. 2 cm long, connate and tubular below; stipular tube membranous on the young shoots with a short limb and simple brown bristles; tomentose and leafy above on the older shoots. Male capitula sub-sessile, 2-3 on a peduncle, globose, 4-5 mm in diameter; peduncle c. 2 cm long. Perianth lobes free, c. 1 mm long, oblong, glabrous. Stamens 3-8, free, anthers oblong, 2.5 mm long; adnate to the connective; connective peltate with bristles at the apex. Female capitula sessile, 2-5 on a peduncle, globose, 1-1.5 cm in diameter; peduncle 7-11 cm long. Perianth lobes c. 2 mm long, spathulate with long jointed hair at the apex. Car¬pels 3-8, free; ovary linear, 1 mm long, covered with long jointed hairs, style 5-6 mm long, uncinate, persistant. Capitula of achenes 2-3 cm broad; achene c. 8 mm long, obpyramidal with long, jointed, yellow hair at the base ; style persistant.
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Description

Trees deciduous, to 30 m tall. Young branchlets yellow-brown tomentose, old ones glabrous, becoming red-brown after drying, small lenticellate. Stipules less than 1 cm; petiole terete, 3–8 cm, tomentose; leaf blade broadly ovate, 9–18 × 8–16 cm, deeply (3 or)5- or 7-lobed, both surfaces gray-yellow pubescent at first, glabrate and then pubescent only along veins abaxially, principal veins 3 or 5, arising from base, base shallowly cordate or subtruncate; central lobe 7–9 × 4–6 cm, margin lobed; lateral lobes shorter, margin coarsely dentate. Flowers 4-merous. Male flowers: sepals short, small; stamens much longer than petals; filaments very short; anthers elongate. Female flowers: sepals pubescent; petals oblanceolate; carpels 4; styles elongate, apex crispate. Fruiting branchlets with (2 or)3–5 infructescences. Infructescence capitate, 2–2.5 cm in diam. Achenes with persistent style spiniform, 3–4 mm; basal hairs yellow; both styles and hairs exserted from infructescence. Fl. Mar–May, fr. Jun–Oct.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Tree
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The only plane tree of the Old World. It is confined to temporary, moist, stone or gravel ravines, as the species requires moisture throughout the dry season.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated in China [native to SW Asia and SE Europe].
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Associations

Foodplant / saprobe
hypophyllous, mostly immersed perithecium of Apiognomonia errabunda is saprobic on fallen, dead leaf of Platanus orientalis
Remarks: season: 3-5
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebiella albida is saprobic on dead, fallen twig of Platanus orientalis

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per. April-May.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Platanus orientalis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Platanus orientalis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LR/lc
Lower Risk/least concern

Red List Criteria

Version
2.3

Year Assessed
1998
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Reviewer/s

Contributor/s

History
  • 1997
    Rare
    (Walter and Gillett 1998)
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Population

Population
Wild populations of this widely cultivated species are rare in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Although considered Least Concern in the Caucasus, the origin of these populations needs to be determined.
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Threats

Major Threats
It is considered to be endangered in parts its range because of changing water courses for irrigation purposes and the increased expansion of agriculture.
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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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© Info Flora (CRSF/ZDSF) & Autoren 2005

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Wikipedia

Platanus orientalis

Platanus orientalis, or oriental plane, is a large, deciduous tree of the Platanaceae family, growing to 30 m (98 ft) or more,[1] and known for its longevity and spreading crown.

Etymology[edit]

The species name meaning 'eastern' contrasts it with the western (American) plane, (Platanus occidentalis) and also its original known distribution eastward from the Balkans, where it was recognized in ancient Greek history and literature. Following Greek usage it is called platane or related names in continental Europe. It was equally well known in Asia and from Turkey to India is called chinar, chenar or related names, following the Iranian, except in the Kashmir Valley region. The native Kashmiri word for the tree is boonyi.

Range[edit]

The native range is Eurasia from the Balkans to at least as far east as Iran. Some accounts extend its native range to Iberia in the west, and to the Himalayas in the east. As it has been known in cultivation from early times in much of this region it can be difficult to determine if it is truly indigenous in peripheral areas.

Description[edit]

Fruits and leaves of Oriental plane

The oriental plane is found naturally in riverine settings, together with such trees as alder, willow and poplar. However, it is quite capable of survival and success in dry soils once it is established.

Oriental plane
Bursa, Turkey

Like other plane trees, its leaves are borne alternately on the stem, deeply lobed, and palmate or maple-like. It usually has flaking bark, occasionally not flaking and becoming thick and rugged. Flowers and fruit are round and burr-like, borne in clusters of between 2 and 6 on a stem. Considerable variation exists among trees in the wild, and this may be complicated by crossbreeding with planted London planes (Platanus x acerifolia), the hybrid of P. orientalis with the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).

Cultivation[edit]

The tree is capable of being grown in most temperate latitudes, though it benefits greatly from warm summers. As a very large and wide tree with broad, thick leaves that tend to orient horizontally, it is especially prized for the shade and coolness it provides during the hot season.

Other uses[edit]

The leaves and bark have been used medicinally. A fabric dye has been made from the twigs and roots. The timber, often called lacewood, is figured and valuable for indoor furniture.

Cultural history[edit]

Famous Char Chinar ("four chinar trees") island on Dal lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
The "Tree of Hippocrates" in Kos, Greece, possibly a descendant of the original.

From earliest days, P. orientalis has been an important tree in Persian gardens, which are built around water and shade. There it is known as the chenar.

Kashmir[edit]

chinnar tree , national tree of jammu and kashmir

In historic Kashmir, the tree was planted near Hindu holy places under names derived from the goddess Bhavani. Later in Muslim times it continued to be a major garden and landscape tree and dominates many historic gardens,[2] now generally called boonyi in local Kashmiri and chinar by Hindi/Urdu speakers. For example, a famous landmark in Srinagar is an island on Dal Lake where four chinar trees stand, named Char Chinar. As another example, a 627-year-old chinar tree has been found at Chatargam, Chadoora, Badgam district, Kashmir. In repute it was planted in 1374 AD by an Islamic mystic, Syed-Abul Qasim Shah Hamdani.[3]

a view of chinnar trees at srinagar

Chinar trees are being felled rapidly in Kashmir,[4] although a recent ban has been enacted to curb cutting.[5] Chinar trees are now required to be registered and are considered National Property of the State. Registered Chinars are painted white at their base. Increased awareness means most old Chinars are protected and looked after; however, some new Chinars must be cut as their growth can cause damage to roads and houses. Most people now view the Chinar as a matter of national pride.

the trunk of chinnar tree

Greece[edit]

The Tree of Hippocrates, under which Hippocrates — the "Father of Medicine" — taught at Kos, is reputed to have been an oriental plane. A 500-year-old tree presently there may be on the same site and may have been planted from a succession of cuttings from the original. The Athenian Academy, outside Athens, featured a sacred grove of planes where the students listened to the masters and where among others the Peripatetics practiced philosophy.

Pliny's Natural History[6] records the westward progress of the plane "introduced among us from a foreign clime for nothing but its shade", planted first at the tomb of Diomedes on the island of Tremiti, then imported to Greek Sicily by Dionysius the Elder(c. 432-367 BC), tyrant of Syracuse. He had plane-trees conveyed to the city of Rhegium (Reggio di Calabria), where they were looked upon as the great marvel of his palace, according to Pliny's sources. From there it spread by the first century CE as far as the lands of the Morini in Belgic Gaul. Regardless of why it may have been introduced, the tree had medicinal uses from early times. Pliny[7] details 25 remedies using preparation from the bark, leaves and excrescences of plane. Some are still used: it stops bleeding and is used in eye ointment. Pliny prescribes it for burns, bites, stings, frostbite and infections.[8]

A remarkable example of P. orientalis in Cambron-Casteau Park, Belgium.

Pliny goes on to describe some legendary plane-trees.[9] There was one on the grounds of the Athenian Academy, he says, that had roots 50 feet (15 m) long. Licinius Mucianus held a banquet for 19 in a hollow plane-tree of Lycia, and the emperor Caligula another for 15 plus servants in a tree house (nest) built in the branches of a plane-tree at Velletri.

Most small villages in Greece have one or more very old planes in their central square, where the village water spring used to be (water springs are nowadays replaced by water taps from the same spring captured). Many of them are set in cavities, which are often playing and meeting points for children and teenagers, or are cared for, sometimes even illuminated, as tourist attractions.

United Kingdom[edit]

In 2011 a specimen planted by Capability Brown was identified as the tree with the greatest known spread in the United Kingdom.[10]

During the 2010 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, the aerostat used took the shape of a chinar tree under the 'tree of knowledge' segment of the ceremony. This was followed by representation of different seasons through image projections and different dance styles being performed by hundreds of cultural dancers from all across India.

Cultural references[edit]

A Plane tree is the main theme in the aria Ombra mai fu composed by George Frideric Handel, in which the main character, Xerxes I of Persia, admires the shade of a plane tree. It is also the State tree of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ Wanchoo, Pran Nath (2001–2002). "Chinar Tree, "Bouin" of Kashmir- Symbol of Goddess Bhawani". Vitasta XXXV. 
  3. ^ Rajesh Bhat (2007-12-24). "627-year-old living legend found in Kashmir". Merinews.com. 
  4. ^ "Climate". Official Website of Anantag District. 
  5. ^ "Ban on cutting Chinar trees in Kashmir". The Times of India. 5 March 2009. 
  6. ^ XII.3.
  7. ^ XXIV.29
  8. ^ The details are omitted here. Caution: do not use any ancient remedies without consulting a physician.
  9. ^ XII.5
  10. ^ "Corsham Court Oriental plane 'most spreading tree in UK'". BBC News. 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 

References[edit]

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Notes

Comments

The wood is not valuable but is used in some places for making guncarriages, small painted boxes and for cabinet work and paneling. The bark is medicinal.

The flowers are described here as complete with perianth and 3-8 stamens or pistils, showing affinity with the Hamamelidaceae and Rosaceae. Another interpretation of their structure is that each flower is apetalous and consists of a single stamen or pistil, subtended by a scale, thus showing closer affinity with the Urticaceae.

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