Tilia platyphyllos

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Tilia platyphyllos
Tilia platyphyllos(01).jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Tilia
T. platyphyllos
Binomial name
Tilia platyphyllos
Tilia platyphyllos range.svg
Distribution map

Tilia grandifolia Ehrh.

Tilia platyphyllos, the large-leaved lime or large-leaved linden, is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae (Tiliaceae). It is a deciduous tree, native to much of Europe, including locally in southwestern Great Britain, growing on lime-rich soils. The common names largeleaf linden [1] and large-leaved linden are in standard use throughout the English-speaking world except in the British Isles, where it is known as large-leaved lime. [2] The name "lime", possibly a corruption of "line" originally from "lind", has been in use for centuries and also attaches to other species of Tilia. [3] It is not, however, closely related to the lime fruit tree, a species of citrus.


The specific epithet platyphyllos (greek: πλατύφυλλος) means in greek "with broad leaves". [4]


Tilia platyphyllos is a narrowly domed tree with a moderate growth rate, and can eventually attain a height of 40 m. The reddish-brown young stems later develop dark grey bark with fine fissures and furrows. The branches spread upwards at wide angles. The twigs are reddish-green and slightly pubescent. [5] The foliage consists of simple, alternately arranged leaves. As indicated by its common name, this tree has larger leaves than the related Tilia cordata (small-leaved lime), 6 to 9 cm (exceptionally 15 cm). They are ovate to cordate, mid to dark green above and below, with white downy hair on the underside, particularly along the veins, tapering into a mucronate tip. The margin is sharply serrate, and the base cordate; the venation is pinnate along a midrib. The pubescent petiole is usually 3–4 cm long, but can vary between 1.5–5 cm. The autumn foliage is yellow-green to yellow.

The small, fragrant, yellowish-white flowers are arranged in drooping, cymose clusters in groups of 3 to 4. Their whitish-green, leaf-like bracts have an oblong-obovate shape. The geniculate peduncles are between 1.5–3 cm long. The hermaphroditic flowers have 5 sepals and 5 tepals, numerous stamens, but no staminodes. The superior ovary is 2–10 locular with one smooth style. The flowers are pollinated by bees and some butterflies, notably the White-letter Hairstreak. The fruit is a fat, round, tomentose, cream-colored nutlet with a diameter of 1 cm or less. It has a woody shell with 3–5 ridges.


Tilia platyphyllos is widely planted throughout the temperate world as an ornamental tree in parks and city streets. Numerous cultivars are available, including 'Aurea', (golden leafed), 'Fastigiata', 'Laciniata' (seemingly torn leaves), 'Örebro' (columnar), 'Princes Street' (narrow crown), 'Rubra' (red twigged), 'Tortuosa' (twisted branches), and 'Tiltstone Filigree' (upswept branches). [6]

The cultivar 'Rubra' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. [7] [8]


Tilia platyphyllos readily hybridizes with Tilia cordata, the hybrid being the common lime T. × europaea (syn. T. × vulgaris).

Fossil record

Fossils of Tilia platyphyllos have been described from the fossil flora of Kızılcahamam district in Turkey, which is of early Pliocene age. [9]


Tilia wood is used for carving, and almost all parts of the tree can be used for fodder, ropes or firewood. Bast and honey, which were historically the main products of Tilia, may have been an important factor in the spread of the species and its status as a typical agroforestry tree in the Middle Ages. Tilia spp. are also important for amenity use, shelterbelts and game plantings in the open landscape, in urban areas and recreational forestry. [10]

Traditional medicine

The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent. [11] The wood is burned to charcoal and ingested for intestinal disorders and used topically for edema or infection, such as cellulitis or of the lower leg. [11]

Famous trees

Related Research Articles

Linden may refer to:

<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.

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

Tilia cordata, the small-leaved lime or small-leaved linden, is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae, native to much of Europe. Other common names include little-leaf or littleleaf linden, or traditionally in South East England, pry or pry tree. Its range extends from Britain through mainland Europe to the Caucasus and western Asia. In the south of its range it is restricted to high elevations.

<i>Abies nordmanniana</i> Species of conifer tree

Abies nordmanniana, the Nordmann fir or Caucasian fir, is a fir indigenous to the mountains south and east of the Black Sea, in Turkey, Georgia and the Russian Caucasus. It occurs at altitudes of 900–2,200 m on mountains with precipitation of over 1,000 mm.

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

Quercus trojana, the Macedonian oak is an oak in the turkey oak section (Quercus sect. Cerris).

<i>Alnus cordata</i> Species of plant

Alnus cordata, the Italian alder, is a tree or shrub species belonging to the family Betulaceae, and native to the southern Apennine Mountains and the north-eastern mountains of Corsica. It has been introduced in Sicily, Sardinia, and more recently in Central-Northern Italy, other European countries and extra-European countries, where it has become naturalised.

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

Tilia americana is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae, native to eastern North America, from southeast Manitoba east to New Brunswick, southwest to northeast Oklahoma, southeast to South Carolina, and west along the Niobrara River to Cherry County, Nebraska. It is the sole representative of its genus in the Western Hemisphere, assuming T. caroliniana is treated as a subspecies or local ecotype of T. americana. Common names include American basswood and American linden.

<i>Magnolia sprengeri</i> Species of flowering plant

Magnolia sprengeri, or Sprenger's magnolia, is a species of Magnolia native to China, occurring in Gansu, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, and Sichuan in forests or thickets at 1300–2400 m altitude. Named for Carl Ludwig Sprenger, a botanist of note.

<i>Populus tremula</i> Species of plant

Populus tremula is a species of poplar native to cool temperate regions of Europe and Asia, from Iceland and the British Isles east to Kamchatka, north to inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia and northern Russia, and south to central Spain, Turkey, the Tian Shan, North Korea, and northern Japan. It also occurs at one site in northwest Africa in Algeria. In the south of its range, it occurs at high altitudes in mountains.

<i>Pterocarya fraxinifolia</i> Species of wingnut tree

Pterocarya fraxinifolia is a species of tree in the Juglandaceae family. It is commonly known as the Caucasian wingnut or Caucasian walnut. It is native to the Caucasian region Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. It was introduced to France in 1784, and to Great Britain after 1800.

<i>Tilia <span style="font-style:normal;">×</span> europaea</i> Species of flowering plant

Tilia × europaea, generally known as the European lime, common lime or common linden, is a naturally occurring hybrid between Tilia cordata and Tilia platyphyllos. It occurs in the wild in Europe at scattered localities wherever the two parent species are both native. It is not closely related to the lime fruit tree, a species of citrus.

<i>Tilia tomentosa</i> Species of flowering plant

Tilia tomentosa, known as silver linden in the US and silver lime in the UK, is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, from Romania and the Balkans east to western Turkey, occurring at moderate altitudes.

<i>Eriophyes tiliae</i> Species of mite

Eriophyes tiliae is a mite that forms the lime nail gall or bugle gall. It develops in a chemically induced gall; an erect, oblique or curved distortion rising up from the upper surface of the leaves of the lime (linden) trees, such as the large-leaved lime tree Tilia platyphyllos, the common lime tree Tilia × europaea, etc.

<i>Bucculatrix thoracella</i> Species of moth in genus Bucculatrix

Bucculatrix thoracella, the lime bent-wing, is species of moth in the family Bucculatricidae, and was first described in 1794 by Carl Peter Thunberg as Tinea thoracella. It is found throughout Europe with exception of Ireland and the Balkan Peninsula, and in Japan, where it occurs on the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu.

<i>Davidia involucrata</i> Species of flowering plant in the family Nyssaceae

Davidia involucrata, the dove-tree, handkerchief tree, pocket handkerchief tree, or ghost tree, is a medium-sized deciduous tree in the family Nyssaceae. It is the only living species in the genus Davidia. It was previously included with tupelos in the dogwood family, Cornaceae. Fossil species are known extending into the Upper Cretaceous.

This fossil flora in Turkey stems from at least six Pliocene deposits in Güvem and Beşkonak villages, 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Ankara, 22 kilometres (14 mi) north of Kızılcahamam and 125 kilometres (78 mi) south of the Black Sea coast. They are 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) to 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) above sea level, extending 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north-south and 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east-west. Between six and seven million years ago, a fresh water lake existed there in a forested area with mostly broad leaved deciduous tree species, dominated by sequoia and oak.

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

Tilia japonica, the Japanese lime or Japanese linden, is a species of Tilia native to eastern China and Japan, preferring to grow in mountains up to 2000 m. It superficially resembles the better-known Tilia cordata, the small-leaved lime, and was originally described as Tilia cordata var. japonica. It differs from T. cordata in having 164 chromosomes instead of 82, and by some subtle differences in leaf and flower morphology. T. japonica inflorescences consistently have 5 staminodes, which is a reliable trait distinguishing it from T. cordata and T. amurensis. Recent studies indicate T.japonica to play an important role in maintaining the ectomycorrhizal networks in local forests it grows in Japan.

<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. USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Tilia platyphyllos". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  2. RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN   978-1405332965.
  3. Shorter Oxford English dictionary, 6th ed. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 2007. p. 3804. ISBN   978-0199206872.
  4. Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN   9781845337315.
  5. Martin, W.K. 1965. The Concise British Flora in Colour. Ebury Press
  6. White, J. & More, D. (2003). Trees of Britain & Northern Europe. Cassell's, London. ISBN   0-304-36192-5.
  7. "RHS Plant Selector – Tilia platyphyllos 'Rubra'". RHS. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  8. "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 102. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  9. Kasaplıgil, Baki (1977). "Ankara, Kızılcahamam yakınındaki Güvem köyü civarında bulunan son tersiyer kozalaklı-yeşil yapraklı ormanı" [A Late-Tertiary Conifer-Hardwood Forest From the Vicinity of Güvem Village, Near Kızılcahamam, Ankara](PDF). Bulletin of the Mineral Research and Exploration (in Turkish and English). Ankara: General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration. 88: 94-102.
  10. Jensen, J.S. (2003). "Lime - Tilia spp" (PDF). EUFORGEN Technical Guidelines for Genetic Conservation and Use: 6 p. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-12-04.
  11. 1 2 Bradley P, ed. British Herbal Compendium. Vol. I. Dorset (Great Britain): British herbal Medicine Association; 1624: 142–144
  12. McIntosh, Christopher (15 September 2012). The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria. I.B.Tauris. p. 193. ISBN   978-1-84885-847-3.
  13. "Large-leaved lime near the castle". Monumental trees. Retrieved 17 February 2014.