”’Scientific Name”’: ”Tilia cordata”
”’Also known as”’: Small Leaved-Linden, Littleleaf linden
”’Habitat”’: Woods on most fertile soils, especially limestone, it is commonly found on wooded limestone cliffs. Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to Spain, Siberia, Crimea and Caucasus.
”’Description”’: Tilia cordata is a deciduous tree growing to 20–40 m tall, diameter 1/3 to 1/2 the height, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The crown is rounded in a formal oval shape to pyramidal. Branching is upright and increases in density with age. Small-leaved lime may produce suckers from the base of the tree.
* ”’Bark”’ – The bark is smooth and grayish when young, firm with vertical ridges and horizontal fissures when older.
* ”’Twigs”’ – The twigs are brown-red twigs in the shade, but become shiny in sunlight.
* ”’Buds”’ – The buds are alternate, pointed egg shaped and have red scales. It has no terminal bud.
* ”’Leaves”’ – The leaves are alternately arranged, rounded to triangular-ovate, 3–8 cm long and broad, mostly hairless (unlike the related ”Tilia platyphyllos”) except for small tufts of brown hair in the leaf vein axils – the leaves are distinctively heart-shaped.
* ”’Flowers”’ – The small yellow-green hermaphrodite flowers are produced in clusters of five to eleven in early summer with a leafy yellow-green subtending bract, have a rich, heavy scent; the trees are much visited by bees to the erect flowers which are held above the bract; this flower arrangement is distinctly different from that of the Common Lime ”Tilia × europaea” where the flowers are held beneath the bract.
* ”’Fruit”’ – The fruit is a dry nut-like drupe 6–7 mm long by 4 mm broad containing one, or sometimes two, brown seeds (infertile fruits are globose), downy at first becoming smooth at maturity, and (unlike ”T. platyphyllos” and also ”T. × europaea”) not ribbed but very thin and easily cracked open.
==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.
In Britain ”T. cordata” is considered an indicator of ancient woodland, and is becoming increasingly rare. Owing to its rarity, a number of woods have been given SSSI status. Cocklode Wood, part of the Bardney Limewoods, is the best surviving spread of medieval small leaved limes in England. Another site is Shrawley Wood in Worcestershire. Small-leaved lime was once regarded as holy and good for carving.
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/Tilia_cordata
*Woodland Trust – https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/native-trees/small-leaved-lime/
*PFAF – https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Tilia+cordata