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Tilia cordata
Tilia cordata leaves and flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Tilia
Species: T. cordata
Binomial name
Tilia cordata

Tilia cordata (Small-leaved Lime, occasionally Small-leaved Linden) is a species of Tilia native to much of Europe and western Asia, north to southern Great Britain (north to about Durham), central Scandinavia, east to central Russia, and south to central Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Caucasus; in the south of its range it is restricted to high altitudes.[1][2]

It is a deciduous tree growing to 20-38 m tall, with a trunk up to 1-2 m diameter. 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. 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. The fruit is a dry nut-like drupe 6–7 mm long and 4 mm broad, downy at first becoming smooth at maturity, and (unlike T. platyphyllos) not ribbed.[1][3]

It readily hybridises with Tilia platyphyllos; the hybrid is named Tilia × europaea (syn. T. × vulgaris).[1][4]

In Britain it is becoming increasingly rare and is an indicator of ancient woodland.[5]

Cultivation and uses

It is the national tree of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia.

Tilia cordata is widely grown as an ornamental tree throughout its native range in Europe. It was much planted to form avenues in 17th and early 18th century landscape planning. A famous example is Unter den Linden in Berlin.

It is also widely cultivated in North America as a substitute for the native Tilia americana (Basswood or American Linden) which has a larger leaf, coarser in texture; there it has been renamed "Little-leaf Linden".

In the countries of Central Europe, linden flowers are a traditional herbal remedy (linden flower tea), considered to be of value as an anti-inflammatory in a range of respiratory problems: colds, fever, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, cough and others.[6]

A valuable monofloral honey is produced by bees using the trees. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad vegetable.[7]

The white, finely-grained wood is a classic choice for refined woodcarvings such as those by Grinling Gibbons or several prominent medieval altars.


  1. ^ a b c Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  2. ^ Den Virtuella Floran: Tilia cordata (in Swedish; with maps
  3. ^ Flora of NW Europe: Tilia cordata
  4. ^ Flora of NW Europe: Tilia vulgaris
  5. ^ Natural England internal website
  6. ^ [Flora Herb & Supplement Encyclopedia]
  7. ^ Vernon, J. (2007). Fruits of the forest. The Garden November 2007: 738. Royal Horticultural Society.


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Tilia cordata


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Malvales
Familia: Malvaceae
Subfamilia: Tilioideae
Genus: Tilia
Species: Tilia cordata


Tilia cordata Mill.

Vernacular names

Eesti: Harilik pärn
Español: tilo
Italiano: Tiglio selvatico
Magyar: Kislevelű hárs
日本語: コバノシナノキ
Русский: Липа мелколистная, липа сердцевидная
Türkçe: Küçük yapraklı ıhlamur
Українська: Липа серцелиста


  • Gard. dict. ed. 8: Tilia no. 1. 1768
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. 36675
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Tilia cordata on Wikimedia Commons.


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