”’Scientific Name”’: ”Tilia x europaea”
”’Also known as”’: Common linden, tilia, basswood.
”’Habitat”’: It occurs in the wild in Europe at scattered localities wherever the two parent species are both native.
”’Description”’: Tilia × europaea is a large deciduous tree up to 15–50 m tall with a trunk up to 2.5 m radius. The base of the trunk often features burrs and a dense mass of brushwood.
* ”’Bark”’ – The bark is pale grey-brown and irregularly ridged, with characteristic large burrs and leaf shoots at the base of the tree.
* ”’Twigs”’ – Twigs are slender and brown, although they become red in the sun.
* ”’Buds”’ – leaf buds are red, with one small scale and one large scale, resembling a boxing glove, and form on long leaf stalks.
* ”’Leaves”’ – The leaves are intermediate between the parents (large and small leaved lime), 6–15 cm long and 6–12 cm broad, thinly hairy below with tufts of denser hairs in the leaf vein axils. They have a lopsided, lobed leaf base and tufts of white hairs in vein axils, and fade to a dull yellow before falling in autumn.
* ”’Flowers”’ – The flowers are produced in clusters of four to ten in early summer with a leafy yellow-green subtending bract; they are fragrant, and pollinated by bees. The floral formula is ✶ K5 C5 A0+5∞ G(5).
* ”’Fruit”’ – The fruit is a dry nut-like drupe 8 mm diameter, downy and faintly ribbed.
==Pictures throughout the year==
Young leaves – raw. Excellent in salads, they are mild and mucilaginous.
A refreshing tea is made from the dried flowers. A honey-like fragrance. Some caution is advised, see notes on toxicity. Flowers – used as a vegetable. A very acceptable chocolate substitute can be made from a paste of the ground-up flowers and immature fruit. Trials on marketing the product failed because the paste is very apt to decompose.
Sap – used as a drink or concentrated to make a syrup and used as a sweetener.
After flowering, the nectar drips heavily (and ruins car bodywork), which means that the leaves are covered in a sweet sticky coating.
Lime flowers are a popular domestic remedy for a number of ailments, especially in the treatment of colds and other ailments where sweating is desirable. A tea made from the fresh or dried flowers is antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, hypotensive, laxative and sedative. Lime flower tea is also used internally in the treatment of indigestion, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation. The flowers are harvested commercially and often sold in health shops etc. Lime flowers are said to develop narcotic properties as they age and so they should only be harvested when freshly opened. A charcoal made from the wood is used in the treatment of gastric or dyspeptic disturbances and is also made into a powder then applied to burns or sore places.
A fibre from the inner bark is used to make mats, shoes, baskets, ropes etc. It is also suitable for cloth. It is harvested from trunks that are 15 – 30cm in diameter. The fibre can also be used for making paper. The stems are harvested in spring or summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The outer bark is removed from the inner bark by peeling or scraping. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill. The paper is beige.
Wood – soft, white, easily carved. It is very suitable for carving domestic items and small non-durable items. A charcoal made from the wood is used for drawing.
This hybrid is very widely cultivated, being readily and inexpensively propagated by layering; as a result, it is often the commonest Tilia species in urban areas and along avenues and streets. It is not however the best species of this purpose, as it produces abundant stem sprouts, and also often hosts heavy aphid populations resulting in honeydew deposits on everything underneath the trees. Furthermore there is substantial leaf litter in autumn.
”’Notable trees”’ – One long-lived example was the “Malmvik lime”, planted as a sapling near the Malmvik Manor in Stockholm, Sweden in 1618. The tree existed for 381 years until the last part of the tree fell in a storm in 1999. The UK TROBI Champion is at Aysgarth, Yorkshire, measuring 26 m in height and 295 cm d.b.h. in 2009.
If the flowers used for making tea are too old, they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication.
Leaves in early spring, flowers slightly later.
[[Lime, large leaved]] (”Tilia platyphyllos”) and [[Lime, small leaved]] (”Tilia cordata”).
*Tree & Plant ID Course from Foundation Bushcraft – http://identificationmasterclass.com/
*Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malus_sylvestris
*Woodland Trust – https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/native-trees/common-lime/
*PFAF – https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Tilia+x+europaea