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Tree Campus: Oriental Plane Tree

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Oriental Plane Tree

Platanus orientalis (PLATANACEAE)



Europe and Asia, Balkans to Iran



In a study in Nainital, Nepal, "27 species of bryophytes belonging to 14 families were found [on the bark of P. orientalis] including 2 leafy liverworts." [5]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"The buds of P. orientalis are used in folk medicine as antiseptic and antimicrobial remedies of the urinary system." [1]

"In the Mediterranean area, the presence of P. orientalis is linked not only to ecological and phytogeographical issues but also to an ancient human interest, as attested by classical historical sources of Greek and Roman literature. For example, in Crete the plane tree was related to the Great Mother’s cult and to the myth of Europe; in Lidia (East Turkey) it was a holy tree; in the Iliad it has a prophetic role. Moreover, Greek authors often mention the plane tree as a hallowed tree for its pleasant shadow (e.g. the Aesop’s fable “The Travellers and the Plane Tree”). Plato describes the tree along the Ilisso River (near Athens), under which Phaedrus leads Socrates to discuss an essay, thus inventing the prototype of the philosophical scene for the following centuries. Athenian philosophers, writers and artists loved to talk under the plane trees along the walk of the Academy.

Roman authors appreciated this tree for the useful shade provided in gardens but also venerated it as a sort of “genius loci”. Martial reported that Caesar planted a plane tree in Corduba (Spain), imitating Agamemnon and Menelaus when they planted some plane trees before leaving for Troy. After Caesar’s death, the tree was worshipped, which explains the watering with wine described by Martial and also reported by others as Macrobio, Ovidio and Pliny the Elder. Interestingly, Pliny the Elder reported that plane tree was introduced in Italy from a foreign country only for its shade: the tree arrived across the Ionian Sea, around 390 BC, at first in the Tremiti islands at the tomb of Diomedes, then imported to Sicily by Dionysius the Elder (432 –367 BC), tyrant of Syracuse and in the city of Rhegion (Reggio Calabria, Italy). Later, the plane tree has been spread to present-day Belgium, where it was subjected to taxation, so that Pliny sarcastically observes that people had to pay a fee for the shadow too." [4]



"The oriental plane is widely used as an ornamental tree, especially in urban areas and is also cultivated sometimes for timber." [3]

"Methylene blue (MB) (C16H18N3SCl) as a thiazine cationic dye is commonly used for coloring paper, temporary hair colorants, dyeing of cotton, wood, and silk. Although MB is not highly hazardous; it can cause some harmful effects in humans such as increased heart rate, shock, vomiting, jaundice, cyanosis, quadriplegia, and tissue necrosis. Various techniques, such as adsorption, membrane process, coagulation, flocculation, photodecomposition, electrochemical oxidation, etc., have been used for the removal of dyes from waste water. Among these techniques, adsorption, has been proven to be the most potential one due to its flexibility, simplicity of design, high efficiency and ability to separate wide range of chemical compounds. The adsorption capacity of methylene blue onto Platanus orientalis leaves powder found to be as high as 114.94 mg/g, which is higher than the adsorption capacity of a number of recently studied in the literature potential adsorbents." [2]



[1] Mitrokotsa, D., Mitaku, S., Demetzos, C., Harvala, C., Mentis, A., Perez, S., & Kokkinopoulos, D. (1993). Bioactive compounds from the buds of Platanus orientalis and isolation of a new kaempferol glycoside. Planta Medica, 59(06), 517-520.

[2] Peydayesh, M., & Rahbar-Kelishami, A. (2015). Adsorption of methylene blue onto Platanus orientalis leaf powder: kinetic, equilibrium and thermodynamic studies. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 21, 1014-1019.

[3] Sevik, H., Cetin, M., Ozturk, A., Yigit, N., & Karakus, O. (2019). Changes in micromorphological characters of Platanus orientalis L. leaves in Turkey. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 17(3), 5909-5921.

[4] Rosati, L., Masi, A., Giardini, M., & Marignani, M. (2015). Under the shadow of a big plane tree: why Platanus orientalis should be considered an archaeophyte in Italy. Plant Biosystems-An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology, 149(1), 185-194.

[5] Bargali, R., Awasthi, V., & Pande, N. (2014). Ecological study of bryophytes on Platanus orientalis L. trees in Nainital (Western Himalaya). American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5(26), 3880.

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