April 1


As the Sycamore Shows Us, Letting Go is Beautiful: April Featured Botanical

By Ginger Lily

April 1, 2021

2021, 9, April, botanical, exfoliating bark, Feature, Letting go, Nine, numerology, Platanus, sycamore, tree, wisdom

The American Sycamore is a beautiful tree native to North Central and Eastern United States and Canada. As a landscape plant, it has made its way to other parts of the world. You may see them in the cooler regions of Australia and even Argentina.

You can identify the Sycamore from a distance by its colorful plated bark. The older it gets, the more the bark exfoliates. The mottled gray bark tones take on a ghostly appearance in the winter. They grow much bigger and broader than the other “ghosts” of the landscape (birches and aspen). These traits make the Sycamore easy to spot. 

Get up close, and you’ll notice a patchwork appearance with red, green, yellow, and brown hues. The plated layers of bark are smooth and brittle. It feels like a wooden jigsaw puzzle as you run your hands over the trunk. 

At first glance, you might think the leaves look like maple. Look closer, and you’ll find prominent ridged veins that radiate sharply to the pointed tips. There are three main lobes, with rough serrations around the leaf edge. 

Sycamore leaf

Sycamore Leaves

Sycamore achenes

Sycamore achenes, fruit

What sets the sycamore leaf apart from the maple leaf is the petiole. A petiole is a small stem that attaches the leaf blade to the branch of the tree. The Sycamore’s petiole is large and hollow at the very end. For most trees, including maple, this part is solid and less prominent. 

As for the fruits, they are significantly different from that of the maple. The maple has the famous winged samaras, aka helicopters. The Sycamore has round achenes, or round fruits tightly packed with fine hair-like seeds. What you see are bumpy little brown ping pong balls on curvy little stems. 

Now let’s get to the numbers!

Botanical Number Profile

Common Name: (*American) Sycamore 9

S(1)+Y(7)+C(3)+A(1)+M(4)+O(6)+R(9)+E(5) = 9

Species: Platanus (5) occidentalis (6) = 11

Genus: P(7)+L(3)+A(1)+T(2)+A(1)+N(5)+U(3)+S(1) = 23 = 5

Specific Epithet: O(6)+C(3)+C(3)+I(9)+D(4)+E(5)+N(5)+T(2)+A(1)+L(3)+I(9)+S(1) = 51 = 6

Species total: 5 + 6 = 11

Family: Platanaceae 7

P(7)+L(3)+A(1)+T(2)+A(1)+N(5)+A(1)+C(3)+E(5)+A(1)+E(5) = 34 = 7

*Note: For calculating the expression of this tree, we use the most common name of Sycamore, without the American tag.

What makes the Sycamore stand out as an ideal nine symbol is the exfoliating bark. As the tree grows, the bark must break apart to accommodate the increased girth. Most trees are more subtle about this process, but the Sycamore hides nothing. We see beauty but with implied pain.  

Wisdom doesn’t come easy.

Those on a nine path know this well. There is pain, struggle, and sadness along the way. And there’s a need to let go and release. The Sycamore releases old patches of their bark and reveals beautiful new colors. 

When you examine the bark, look at each plate of color. Each one represents a specific period of growth where an old piece of bark was released. For the Sycamore to reach their full potential, they must go through this maturing process. They must allow themselves to be shaped and molded by the passing of time and trauma. The beauty we see stems directly from a painful, arduous growth process.

Sycamore hollow end of petiole

Sycamore hollow end of petiole

The Sycamore emphasizes the letting-go process in another way. Remember the leaf petioles I described earlier? Most trees grow new buds for the following year in the axis of the leaves and the stems. 

Sycamores are different. They grow their new buds within the enlarged petioles of their leaves. So to reveal the new buds, the old leaf must physically depart from the branch. here...

In order to grow, they must let go.

Do you allow yourself to let go of the old so you can welcome a new version of yourself? 

It isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. We must do it over and over again.

In this nine-month of April, we have the opportunity to finish old projects, tidy up loose ends, and let go of what no longer serves.

Will you take this opportunity?

It may not feel comfortable or easy, but it’s what’s necessary for welcoming fresh new opportunities that lie just beyond the nine…in the one-month of May.

Sycamore Winter Ghost

Sycamore Winter Ghost

About the author

Did you know you were born with an instruction manual for a life meant just for you? 

Hi, I’m Ginger! I work with super curious plant-loving eccentrics who are on a path to self-discovery. They’re struggling to balance their own journey with the needs and expectations of their loved ones. I help them identify their Botanical Numbers so they can get clear on who they are and what they’re here to accomplish. 

Learn more at www.botanicalnumerology.com

Ginger Lily,

Botanical Numerologist

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