The word 'sycamore' consists of two words of Greek origin, sicon, 'fig', and 'moros, 'black mulberry', so that the etymology itself, as in many cases, describes the tree: it is a fig tree whose leaves resemble those of the black mulberry. The specific name comes in turn from the resemblance of its leaves to those of the genus platanus.
Apparently the origin of the tree is southern Europe and North Africa. The ancient Egyptians knew a tree from this type and assessed its wood for its use in carpentry. In this sense, the longevity of these trees, with specimens that can reach 1000 years, coupled with the incorruptibility of its timber, probably motivated that the sycamore was used to build the boxes of the sarcophagus where the mummies typical of this culture laid. The sycamores that appear in the model of a house with courtyard found in the tomb of Meket-Re (Dynasty 11th, 2000 BC) that we can see today in the Metropolitan of New York, are a material witness that trees of this type were part of the landscape and daily life of ancient Egypt.
A major set of 300 specimens of acer pseudoplatanus reached the Alcázar of Seville in late 1910, brought from the Royal Sites in the Granja de San Ildefonso. Currently there is only one specimen in the Alcázar, possibly a descendant of that major shipment in which apart from the Sycamore there were other exotic species that eventually shaped the image of the present gardens.