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Tilia cordata

Description

Excellent street tree in the Malvaceae family.  It is a great urban tree tolerating poor soil, drought, and air pollution. It is more ideally suited for a northern climate than for the south.  It is easy to transplant and tolerates heavy pruning.  Its fall color is pale yellow-green and not very ornamental. Flowers are pendulous and attract bees in hoards, a detriment; linden honey very desirable; in the fruiting state, peduncle twists at base turning bract & cyme semi-upright, giving the appearance of a rider on a surfboard riding the waves.

Tilias called lime trees by British; historically, planted around shipyards where wood utilized for cabin furniture for officers, and containers in gallies, storing items such as limes and another citrus, keeping them fresher than other porous woods; French thought wood was used in ship timbers, laughed at using weaker wood, and referred to British as limes.

Seasons of Interest:

          Bloom: Summer, June Fruit: Summer, August

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Insect visitors include borers, scale, leaf miner, lace bugs, caterpillars, aphids and Japanese beetles. Spider mites can be troublesome, particularly in hot, dry periods. Verticillium wilt is infrequent but can be fatal. Powdery mildew, leaf spots, and canker may occur. 

Quick ID

  • Heart-shaped leaves with teeth
  • Leaves asymmetrical at base, small side
  • pendulous inflorescence attached to large oblong bracts
  • Bract & fruits upright, as rider on surfboard
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Greenspire'
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#deciduous#shade tree#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#flowering tree#urban#air pollution tolerant#street tree#pollinator plant#fantz#dendrology
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Greenspire'
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#deciduous#shade tree#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#flowering tree#urban#air pollution tolerant#street tree#pollinator plant#fantz#dendrology
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tilia
    Species:
    cordata
    Family:
    Malvaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and southwestern Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers attract butterflies and bees and it makes an excellent honey plant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 35 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Pyramidal
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a globose nutlet, covered with a fine pubescent that drops with age.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescence is in short pendulous cymes, peduncle fused nearly half-way with basal, large, oblong bract. Flowers are yellow, fragrant, 5-8 per cyme, borne in late June to early July.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Orbicular
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, simple, oblique, heart-shaped to orbicular, acuminate, cordate, serrate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators