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Tilia americana

Common Name(s):
American basswood, American linden
Cultivar(s):
Redmond
Categories:
Edible Plants, Trees
Comment:

American linden is a useful shade tree in the Malvaceae family.  It is easy to transplant is tolerant of clay soil and some drought once established.  Has pale yellow-green fall color.

Seasons of Interest:

Foliage: Fall Bloom: Summer, June Fruit: Late Summer Branches: Winter, red

Wildlife Value:  An amazing wildlife tree.  A larval plant for red spotted purple and morning cloak butterflies.  Its flowers are so attractive to honeybees you may hear the tree buzzing from several feet away.  The nectar maks a excellent tasting honey.  Its seeds are eaten by birds and squirrels.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease problems. You may see borers, beetles, lacebugs, caterpillars, and scale. In hot, dry conditions spider mights may pose a signifcant problem. While infrequent, Verticillium wilt can be fatal. Powdery mildew, leaf spots, and cankers are other diseases that rarely occur. 

Compare this plant to: T. cordataT. tomentosa and T. x europaea) may make better selections for urban areas.

Height:
60-75 ft.
Flower:
Lacy cluster of fragrant cream flowers; nut like structure attached to a papery bract
Zones:
2 to 8
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
Sun; moist, well drained fertile soil; tolerates dry soil and clay but not wet sites; keep soil mulched
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Pyramidal in youth; tall tree; slender, low, arching, spreading branches; broad; rounded; open crown
Edibility:
Flowers are used to make tea and syrup can be made from the sweet tree sap.
Width:
45-60 ft.
Growth Rate:
Rapid
Leaf:
4 to 8 in. alternate, simple leaves; modest yellow green fall color
Tags:
deciduous, bees, drought, fall color, birds, edible, pollinator, wildlife, shade tree, larval plant, winter interest, clay soil

NCCES plant id: 2219

Tilia americana Tilia americana leaf detail
Photo by Virens, CC BY - 2.0
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Photo by Wendy Cutler, CC BY - 2.0