A celebrated example of a the genus Platanus, the name derived from the Greek word meaning broad and referring to the plane tree's large flat leaves or wide canopy. Single trees of this Oriental form thrive in alluvial plains, growing to enormous sizes. One reference describes the tree at Buyukdere in Turkey, as 100 feet high, 165 feet in girth and 1130 feet in its spread, possibly over 2,000 years old.
Girault de Prangey's title refers also to Godefroid (Godfrey) de Bouillon (1058-1100) the Duke of Lower Lorraine who was one of the leaders of the First Crusade. In 1099, his crusader army travelled to the Holy Land, supposedly resting on route in the shade of great plane trees. On arrival they captured Jerusalem from the Muslim and Jewish residents and de Bouillon became the first Christian leader of the city, taking the title Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. He held the title for only one year before he died. His entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica concludes, "Despite Godfrey's weakness as a ruler, the tall, handsome, and fair-haired descendant of Charlemagne was later idolized in legend as the "perfect Christian knight, the peerless hero of the whole crusading epic.""
This is the only daguerreotype of this subject in the photographer's archive.