Male and/or female Sycamore?

WaysideWayside Posts: 646
Acer pseudoplatanus

Sycamore trees produce their flowers in hanging branched clusters known as panicles that contain a variety of different flower types. Most are morphologically bisexual, with both male and female organs, but function as if they were unisexual. Some are both morphologically and functionally male, others morphologically bisexual but function as males, and still others are morphologically bisexual but function as females. All of the flower types can produce pollen, but the pollen from functionally female flowers does not germinate. All flowers produce nectar, the functionally female flowers producing it in greater volume and with a higher sugar content.

I don't really understand that.  Nearby there are Sycamores with winged seeds already, and some with the lime hanging panicles.  But they appear distinctly separate.

My question: are there male and female trees?


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 12,950
    edited 16 May
    No, there are male and female flowers, if you like, on each tree.

    Except it is a bit more complicated than just male and female. More like the  
    LGBTTQQIAAP stuff you read about nowadays.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 6,129
    Blimey, that is complicated.
    There's one more kid
    that will never go to school
    Never get to fall in love,
    never get to be cool.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 12,950
    So long as they understand it, that’s all that matters. 
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 1,511
    A crummy system, produces far too many seedlings.
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  • WaysideWayside Posts: 646
    edited 17 May
    The Wikipedia paragraph is supposed to be a paraphrased from of the link @pansyface referenced.   I'm struggling to get my head around either!

    The way it thrives and multiplies it must be doing something right.  I've the greatest admiration for this tree and they are gorgeous.  But, I don't really want any in my smallish garden!  There are a couple of monsters close by, one dwarfing our garden and there's an army of them slowly taking over.  It's an ash vs sycamore battle in the neighbourhood.  With ash die-back it seems the sycamore will ultimately succeed.

    I was in Forest Row the other day, and in a flower bed near the public lavs, there was a sycamore growing.  I looked around, and the nearest I could see was about 200m away.  So you've got to hand it to them.

    Personally I love the field maple, it's a shame they aren't as successful, and that they don't bare edible nuts!
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 415
    When we bought this place there were a couple of large ones, planted TOUCHING the barn, they have gone but I am still fighting a fight against their saplings. I loath the trees I really do It's the only tree I will exterminate on sight (in my garden not in parkland where they belong) I also did some volunteer work removing them from native woodland where they take over just as they do in the garden.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 646
    A gardener friend relishes the thought of exterminating them.  And hates them with a passion.  My admiration is due to their pure tenacity - and it amazes me just how well they succeed.
  • kathie51dkathie51d Posts: 100
    I have to agree with Scandi and with your friend Wayside, we removed a substantial sycamore in our last house 30 years ago, to the day we moved we were clearing sprouting seedlings from our garden. Reason? Our neighbour did not garden, we paid £300 to have the tops of their trees lopped off as the shade had reached our house so by the time we left 3 years ago they had regrown and were a mighty copse again at the end of the garden. We moved but now have a very healthy Ash forest to contend with and Ash saplings everywhere. Oh well that's nature.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 12,950
    Sycamore seedlings are much easier to pull up than ash.
    Ash are the very devil.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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