Here comes the story of another plant from the series of drawings Plants of Andalucia. Long long ago, somebody planted Platanus orientalis and Platanus occidentalis so close to each other that they decided that it would be more comfortable and maybe even more romantic to become one tree. So, they embraced each other very closely and boom! They became one. Some people say that this romantic story took place in Spain and call the new tree Platanus hispanica (platano de sombra), while others claim that it was in London and call the tree Platanus acerifolia (the London plane). Wherever it comes from, now it is the tree that makes city life much greener in many countries in Europe.

Platano de sombra, Platanus hispanica in the summer, Andalucia, Spain
Platano de sombra in the summer


I noticed Platanus hispanica in Spain where it is an important part of the urban landscape. Its big leaves give a lot of shade, so since the tree originated in the 17th century, it has been planted along the roads to give shade during the hot Spanish summers. This is where the Spanish name, platano de sombra, comes from – ‘sombra’ means shade. It has continued to flourish in urban centers because it is very resistant to air pollution. Myself, I was admiring this tree especially in early spring, when it still had its last year’s rusty leaves and cascades of its fruits were beautifully exposed.

Platanus hispanica, platano de sombra in early spring, Andalucia, Spain
Platano de sombra in early spring


When drawing Platanus hispanica, I was inspired by its translucent rusty leaves, fluffy-spiky fruits and patterned bark. The sun, going through the leaves, produced beautiful silhouettes of fruits. And the fruits themselves, being round and fluffy and having fascinating texture, were obviously the subject of my great excitement, which I had to express! And then, when observing the tree closer and closer, the pattern of its bark started to whisper its abstract stories and make me think about maps, travels and hilly landscapes… What does it say to you?

Platanus hispanica, pencil on paper, 29,7 x 41,2 cm, 2020


If you would like to learn more about the project Plants of Andalucia, you are welcome to read previous posts here. You can also follow my work in process on Facebook.


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