Tilia americana L.
American basswood, American linden, Lime tree, Bee tree
Tiliaceae (Linden Family)
American basswood is a stately, wide-spreading tree,
60-80 ft. tall, occasionally growing taller. Conical in its younger form, the crown becomes rounded with age. Broadly oval
leaves sometimes change to yellow in fall but often turn brown and become somewhat unsightly. This deciduous tree
tends to sprout at the base, producing a clump of tall trees around what was the original tree. Flowers are inconspicuous but fragrant. Large tree
with long trunk and a dense crown of many small, often drooping branches and large leaves; frequently has two or more trunks, and sprouts in a circle from a stump.
American Basswood, the northernmost basswood species, is a handsome shade and street tree. When flowering, the trees are full of bees, hence the name Bee-tree; this species is favored by bees over others and produces a strongly flavored honey. The soft, light wood is especially useful for making food boxes, yardsticks, furniture, and pulpwood. Indians made ropes and woven mats from the tough fibrous
Image Gallery: 4 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Tan brown Size Class:
More than 100 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color:
Yellow Bloom Time:
Apr , May , Jun , Jul Bloom Notes:
The fragrant, creamy-yellowy flowers are borne on axillary
cymes with partially adnate foliaceous bracts.
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution:
S. Que. to s.e. Man. & e. ND, s. to w. NC, TN, LA & e. TX, with disjunct populations in central Texas Native Habitat:
woods; north & east slopes of mesic ravines USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(NI)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, rich, well-drained, loamy soils.
Conditions Comments: American lindens are used as specimen plants because of their attractive form, leaves and fragrant flowers. The dense shade they create limits ground cover options. The species is susceptible to a variety of disease and insect problems. Foliage-feeding insects are a particular nuisance. Trees grow at a medium to fast rate.
A hot bath with basswood flowers, followed by a cup of linden-flower tea, is said to soothe cold symptoms and enhance sleep. The flowers are also used in beauty products. (Kershaw) Use Other: Native
peoples and settlers soaked the inner bark
in water to separate its tough fibres, which were then used to make ropes, nets, mats, shoes, clothing and thread. Some tribes carved ritual masks on living trees, then split the masks away to hollow and dry the inside. If the tree
survived, the mask was believed to have supernatural powers. (Kershaw) Conspicuous Flowers: