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London Plane

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: plantae
Division: spermatophytes (seeded plants)
Subdivision: angiosperms (covered seed) hardwoods 
Order: Proteales
Family: platanaceae
Genus: Platanus

Species: x hispanica; synonyms: x acerifolia, x hybrida 

syn. lacewood, lacewood plane, plane, buttonwood, sycamore  


Is it a plane? Plane Ned


Image; above left quarter cut section of London Plane; above right Ned's Plat in London Plane.


London plane is thought to be a natural hybrid of Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) and American plane [American sycamore](P. occidentalis). First recorded in Spain in the 17th century.

Platanus occidentalis is usually called sycamore in North America and not to be confused with what we call sycamore here in Australia and the U.K.

London plane is grown quite extensively in Australia as an avenue tree and usually pollarded.

The wood could be more extensively salvaged as it is a striking timber. 

Pronounced brown coloured rays on lighter background; does remind somewhat of banksia.

Sometimes marketed as lace wood  owing to the striking ray figure. (Not to be confused with another timber called Lacewood; Northern Silky Oak: Cardwellia sublimis, from north Queensland rain forests)

London plane is a diffuse porous wood with fine, even texture. The sapwood is not distinct from the heartwood. Dry density 620 kg/m3. Good bending timber.


See also density comparative chart here.


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