Tilia mongolica

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Tilia mongolica
Mongolian Lime leaf.jpg
Mongolian lime leaf
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Tilia
T. mongolica
Binomial name
Tilia mongolica

Tilia mongolica Maxim. , commonly known as Mongolian lime, is a tree native to mountains of the northern China, growing up to elevations of 12002200 m. [1]



Mongolian lime is a small slow-growing deciduous tree of rounded, compact habit, usually reaching < 10 m in height. The dense, twiggy growth and glabrous reddish shoots bear leaves 47.5 cm long, typically coarsely toothed with 35 lobes, superficially resembling ivy or maple leaves. The emergent leaves are bronze, turning glossy green in summer, and bright yellow in autumn. [2] The greenish-white flowers are borne in clusters of 620 in June and July. [3]

Natural distribution

Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Beijing, Liaoning, isolated locality in North Korea. [4]

History of discovery and cultivation

1863: In the summer the mongolian lime was first collected by Pere David on slopes of the Baihua mountain [5] in the Taihang mountain range about 120 km west to Beijing city center. [6] The specimens collected by David can be seen in the herbarium of the National Museum of Natural History, Paris. [7]

1871: 12 July it was collected by Nikolay Przhevalsky on southern slope of Muni-ula in western part of the Yin Mountains in Inner Mongolia. [8] One of Przhevalsky's specimens is held as an isotype in the herbarium of the Kew Gardens, London. [9]

1877: Again collected on the Baihua mountain by Emil Bretschneider. [8]

1880: Karl Maximovich published first scientific description of the tree based on the specimens collected by Przhevalsky and Bretschneider. [8]

1880: Bretschneider sent seed to the Jardin des Plantes at Paris. [5]

1882: Bretschneider sent seed to the Arnold Arboretum at Boston. [5]

1896: A tree in the Jardin des Plantes, raised from the seed sent by Bretschneider, flowered. Some of the gathered seed were sent to the Kew Gardens. [5]

1907: A tree raised in the Kew Gardens flowered while only 1.5 m high. [10]

1913: Тhe mongolian lime was introduced to commerce in the UK by Harry Veitch at the Coombe Wood Nursery from material collected for him by William Purdom in northern China. [10]

Notable trees

A tree planted in 1896-1897 at the Kew Gardens reached in 2014 the height 14 m and still flourishes. [5] [10]

The TROBI champion tree grows at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, Yorkshire. Planted in 1936, it measured 20 m tall by 59 cm d.b.h. in 2004. [11]

A specimen planted in 1983 grows at Exbury Gardens in Hampshire.

Related Research Articles

<i>Tilia</i> Plant genus

Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees or bushes, native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The tree is known as linden for the European species, and basswood for North American species. In Britain and Ireland they are commonly called lime trees, although they are not related to the citrus lime. The genus occurs in Europe and eastern North America, but the greatest species diversity is found in Asia. In Chinese, "椴/duàn" or "椴樹/duànshù" is a general term for Tilia species. Under the Cronquist classification system, this genus was placed in the family Tiliaceae, but genetic research summarised by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group has resulted in the incorporation of this genus, and of most of the previous family, into the Malvaceae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Herbarium</span> Scientific collection of dried plants

A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant specimens and associated data used for scientific study.

<i>Quercus glauca</i> Species of oak tree

Quercus glauca, commonly called ring-cupped oak or Japanese blue oak, is a tree in the beech family (Fagaceae). It is native to eastern and southern Asia, where it is found in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, northern and eastern India, southern Japan, Kashmir, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam. It is placed in subgenus Cerris, section Cyclobalanopsis.

<i>Ulmus wallichiana</i> Species of tree

Ulmus wallichianaPlanch., the Himalayan elm, also known as the Kashmir elm and Bhutan elm, is a mountain tree ranging from central Nuristan in Afghanistan, through northern Pakistan and northern India to western Nepal at elevations of 800–3000 m. Although dissimilar in appearance, its common name is occasionally used in error for the cherry bark elm Ulmus villosa, which is also endemic to the Kashmir, but inhabits the valleys, not the mountain slopes. The species is closely related to the wych elm U. glabra.

<i>Ulmus davidiana <span style="font-style:normal;">var.</span> japonica</i> Variety of tree

Ulmus davidiana var. japonica, the Japanese elm, is one of the larger and more graceful Asiatic elms, endemic to much of continental northeast Asia and Japan, where it grows in swamp forest on young alluvial soils, although much of this habitat has now been lost to intensive rice cultivation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Augustine Henry</span> Irish sinologist and botanist (1857–1930)

Augustine Henry was a British-born Irish plantsman and sinologist. He is best known for sending over 15,000 dry specimens and seeds and 500 plant samples to Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom. By 1930, he was a recognised authority and was honoured with society membership in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, and Poland. In 1929 the Botanical Institute of Peking dedicated to him the second volume of Icones plantarum Sinicarum, a collection of plant drawings. In 1935, John William Besant was to write: 'The wealth of beautiful trees and flowering shrubs which adorn gardens in all temperate parts of the world today is due in a great measure to the pioneer work of the late Professor Henry'.

Ulmus bergmannianaC.K.Schneid., commonly known as Bergmann's elm, is a deciduous tree found across much of China in forests at elevations of 1500–3000 m.

<i>Ulmus castaneifolia</i> Species of tree

Ulmus castaneifoliaHemsley, the chestnut-leafed elm or multinerved elm, is a small deciduous tree found across much of China in broadleaved forests at elevations of 500–1,600 metres (1,600–5,200 ft).

<i>Ulmus chenmoui</i> Species of tree

Ulmus chenmouiW. C. Cheng, commonly known as the Chenmou, or Langya Mountain elm, is a small deciduous tree from the more temperate provinces of Anhui and Jiangsu in eastern China, where it is found at elevations below 200 m on the Langya Shan and Baohua Shan mountains. The tree was unknown in the West until 1979, when seeds were sent from Beijing to the De Dorschkamp research institute at Wageningen in the Netherlands.

Ulmus chumlia is a small deciduous tree endemic to the Himalaya from the Kashmir to central Nepal, and the provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan and Xizang (Tibet) in China. It is found in broadleaf forest on mountain slopes at elevations of 1000–3000 m. Richens noted that the species appeared to be the same as that named by Grudzinskaya as Ulmus androssowii var. virgata, which she considered an intermediate between U. minor and U. pumila.

<i>Ulmus davidiana</i> Species of tree

Ulmus davidiana, also known as the David elm, or Father David elm, is a small deciduous tree widely distributed across China, Mongolia, Korea, Siberia, and Japan, where it is found in wetlands along streams at elevations of 2000–2300 m (6,500–7,500 ft). The tree was first described in 1873 from the hills north of Beijing, China.

<i>Ulmus minor <span style="font-style:normal;">subsp.</span> canescens</i> Subspecies of tree

Ulmus minorsubsp.canescens is a small deciduous tree occasionally known by the common names grey elm, grey-leafed elm, and hoary elm. Its natural range extends through the lands of the central and eastern Mediterranean, from southern Italy, the islands of Sicily, Malta, Crete, Rhodes and Cyprus, to Turkey, and as far south as Israel, where it is now considered rare and endangered in the wild. The tree is typically found amidst the comparatively humid coastal woodlands and scrublands.

<i>Ulmus pumila</i> Pendula Elm cultivar

The Siberian Elm cultivar Ulmus pumila 'Pendula' is from northern China, where it is known as Lung chao yü shu. It was classified by Frank Meyer in Fengtai in 1908, and introduced to the United States by him from the Peking Botanical Garden as Weeping Chinese Elm. The USDA plant inventory record (1916) noted that it was a "rare variety even in China". It was confirmed as an U. pumila cultivar by Krüssmann (1962).

<i>Ulmus laciniata <span style="font-style:normal;">var.</span> nikkoensis</i> Variety of tree

Ulmus laciniata var. nikkoensisRehder, the Nikko elm, was discovered as a seedling near Lake Chūzenji, near Nikkō, Japan, and obtained by the Arnold Arboretum in 1905. The taxonomy of the tree remains a matter of contention, and has been considered possibly a hybrid of U. laciniata and U. davidiana var. japonica. However, in crossability experiments at the Arnold Arboretum in the 1970s, U. laciniata, a protogynous species, was found to be incompatible with U. davidiana var. japonica, which is protandrous.

Ulmus bergmanniana var. lasiophyllaC. K. Schneid. is endemic to China, on mountain slopes at elevations of 2100–2900 m in Gansu, Shaanxi, north-west Sichuan, south-east Xizang, and north-west Yunnan.

<i>Emmenopterys henryi</i> Species of plant

Emmenopterys henryi is a species of flowering plant in the family Rubiaceae. It is found in the temperate parts of central and southern China and in Vietnam. It is a deciduous tree with opposite leaves and can attain heights of 45 m and grow to be 1000 years old. The epithet is named after the Irish botanist and sinologist Augustine Henry. The trees may not flower until they are 30–100 years old, and flowering seems to be triggered by a long hot summer. Many inflorescences are accompanied by a large white bract.

Ren-Chang Ching, courtesy name Zinong, was a Chinese botanist who specialised in ferns.

<i>Tilia tuan</i> Species of tree

Tilia tuan is a species of flowering plant found in forests at elevations of 1200–2400 m in the central Chinese provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Zhejiang. The species has long been regarded as the most variable lime within China, acquiring numerous synonyms; three varieties are currently recognized. The tree was first described by Henry who discovered it in 1888.

<i>Tilia caroliniana</i> Species of tree

Tilia carolinianaMill. is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae native to the southern and south-eastern states of the U.S., and Mexico.

<i>Tilia amurensis</i> Species of tree

Tilia amurensis, the Amur lime or Amur linden, is a species of Tilia native to eastern Asia. It differs from the better-known Tilia cordata in having somewhat smaller leaves, bracts and cymes. It is an important timber tree in Russia, China and Korea, and is occasionally planted as a street tree in cities with colder climates.


  1. Tang, Y., Gilbert, M. G., & Dorr, L. J. Tiliaceae, in Wu, Z. & Raven, P. (eds) (2007). Flora of China, Vol. 12. Science Press, Beijing, and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, USA.
  2. Hillier & Sons (1977). Hillier's Manual of Trees & Shrubs. 4th edition. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, UK.
  3. More, D. and White. J. (2003). Trees of Britain and Northern Europe,  p.691. Cassell's, London. ISBN   0-304-36192-5
  4. Pigott 2012, p. 164.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Kilpatrick, J. (2014). Fathers of botany: the discovery of Chinese plants by European missionaries. University of Chicago Press, Chicago; Chapter 2
  6. Jin-Tun Zhang, Bin Xu, Min Li. (2013). Vegetation Patterns and Species Diversity Along Elevational and Disturbance Gradients in the Baihua Mountain Reserve, Beijing, China. Mountain Research and Development, 33(2):170-178
  7. Tilia mongolica Maxim. Herbarium of the National Museum of Natural History, France (archive).
  8. 1 2 3 Maximowiez C.J. Diagnoses de plantes nouvelles de l’Asie III. Bulletin de l'Académie impériale des sciences de St.-Pétersbourg (1880) 26(3): 433-434
  9. Tilia mongolica Maxim. in: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2021). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - Herbarium Specimens.
  10. 1 2 3 Tilia mongolica Maxim. in: Bean, W. J. Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles. 8th edition (online edition)]
  11. Johnson, O. (ed.). (2011). Champion Trees of Britain & Ireland. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London. ISBN   978-1842464526


Pigott, Donald (2012). Lime-trees and basswood: a biological monograph of the genus Tilia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN   9780521840545. pp. 160–167.