One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1North American An American plane tree.
Genus Platanus, family Platanaceae: several species, in particular P. occidentalis (also called buttonball tree), which is the largest deciduous tree in the US and is grown for ornament and timberAlso called sycamore in North America
- ‘Old stumps and downed branches of buttonwood trees may lie along coastal beaches for decades before they decay.’
- ‘The reduction of the famous battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794, when Wayne defeated the Maumee Indians, to a buttonwood tree falling on his tent was especially delicious.’
- ‘Black, red and white mangroves and buttonwoods cover much of the low coastal areas of the South Florida shoreline.’
- ‘Explore an overgrown old road bed through shady buttonwoods and open coastal salt prairie.’
- ‘The zone where white mangrove and buttonwood trees grow is almost never flooded by tidal waters.’
2Either of two mangroves found mainly in tropical America, used in the production of tanbark and for charcoal.
Conocarpus erectus (the button mangrove) and Laguncularia racemosa, family Combretaceae
- ‘Finally, as we walk past the White Mangrove stands we reach the Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus).’
- ‘Buttonwood is a shrubby mangrove tree that has a picturesque appearance when exposed to constant seashore winds creating an attractive addition to the beach.’
- ‘There among the buttonwoods, palm and the spidery red mangrove, I return to walk and work among them, to breathe their air and tell their time.’
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