This is the second of the two pictures taken near Buckingham Palace. platanus means plane, platanoides means plane-like and pseudoplatanus means false plane. And acer means maple. Just to complete the picture, London Planes used to be called Platanus acerifolia meaning maple-leaved. Although the names are long and cumbersome, and who knows how the Romans would have pronounced them, they are unique to each species and fairly descriptive once you know the meanings. If we used a living language there would never be any agreement on unique names, using Latin is ideal. The confusion of common names with these trees is that americans call the Plane the Sycamore and the Sycamore is sometimes in Scotland called the Plane. And in some areas (and in the bible) the Fig (Ficus carica) is the Sycomore.

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