Thursday, February 18, 2010

Platanus x acerifolia 'Liberty' this is an Arboretum introduction, the successful product of a designed cross

I've never understood how this can be a London Planetree. Neither of its parents (Platanus orientalis and P. occidentalis) are native to England. The first recorded instance of the cross  occurring was in Spain??? I guess it's just imperial prerogative. Anyway, this is a selection of a cross made in the early 1970's by USNA scientist Dr. Frank Santamour. I remember Dr. Santamour. His venture, looking back we can judge it successful, was an attempt to prodce a plant with some of the resistance to anthracnose (and the other maladies that inevitably afflict the foliage of our native Sycamore) found in the Oriental Planetree. He released two selections, 'Liberty' and 'Columbia'. Thirty odd years later this is still in the trade. You can drive right up to this specimen, like I did. It's just a few feet off the front (north) side of the parking lot in the National Grove of State Trees.

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