Tilia tomentosa

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Tilia tomentosa
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Tilia
T. tomentosa
Binomial name
Tilia tomentosa
Tilia tomentosa range.svg
Distribution map
Synonyms [1]
    • Lindnera albaFuss
    • Tilia albaAiton
    • Tilia argenteaDC.
    • Tilia giganteaDippel
    • Tilia pannonicaJ.Jacq. ex Bayer
    • Tilia peduncularisDelile ex Bayer
    • Tilia petiolarisDC.
    • Tilia rotundifoliaVent.

Tilia tomentosa, known as silver linden in the US [2] 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. [3] [4]



Tree in a public park in Belgium Tilia tomentosa 1JPG.jpg
Tree in a public park in Belgium
Tilia tomentosa - MHNT Tilia tomentosa coupe MHNT.jpg
Tilia tomentosa - MHNT

Tilia tomentosa is a deciduous tree growing to 20–35 m (66–115 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 2 m (7 ft) in diameter. The leaves are alternately arranged, rounded to triangular-ovate, 4–13 cm long and broad with a 2.5–4 cm petiole, green and mostly hairless above, densely white tomentose with white hairs below, and with a coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are pale yellow, hermaphrodite, produced in cymes of three to ten in mid to late summer with a pale green subtending leafy bract; they have a strong scent and are pollinated by honeybees. The fruit is a dry nut-like drupe 8–10 mm long, downy, and slightly ribbed. [3] [5]

Cultivation and uses

It is widely grown as an ornamental tree throughout Europe. The cultivar 'Brabant' has a strong central stem and a symmetrical conic crown. The cultivar 'Petiolaris' (pendent or weeping silver lime) differs in longer leaf petioles 4–8 cm long and drooping leaves; it is of unknown origin and usually sterile, and may be a hybrid with another Tilia species. [3] [5] It is very tolerant of urban pollution, soil compaction, heat, and drought, and would be a good street tree in urban areas. [3] [6] In cultivation in the UK, T. tomentosa 'Petiolaris' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. [7] [8]

An infusion made from the flowers of T. tomentosa is antispasmodic, diaphoretic and sedative. [9] This may be attributable to the presence of pharmacologically active ligands of benzodiazepine receptor. [10]

A widespread belief is that the nectar of this species contains mannose, which can be toxic to some bees. This is incorrect; the sight of numerous comatose bees found on the ground at flowering time is rather a result of the paucity of nectar sources in late summer in urban areas. [11] The evidence against a toxin in the nectar being responsible for mass be deaths under Tilia trees is supported further by Koch and Stevenson (2017) who also suggest that the presence of caffeine in linden nectar may mean that linden trees can chemically deceive foraging bees to make sub-optimal foraging decisions, in some cases leading to their starvation. [12]

This species, while fragrant in spring, drops buds and pollen during the spring and fall.

Notable trees

Eminescu's Linden Tree, Iasi, Romania Teiul lui Eminescu (noaptea).jpg
Eminescu's Linden Tree, Iaşi, Romania

Eminescu's Linden Tree (Romanian : Teiul lui Eminescu) is a 500-year-old silver lime situated in the Copou Public Garden, Iași, Romania. Mihai Eminescu reportedly wrote some of his best works underneath this silver lime, rendering the tree one of Romania's most important natural monuments and an Iași landmark. [13]

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. 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">Fruit tree pollination</span>

Pollination of fruit trees is required to produce seeds with surrounding fruit. It is the process of moving pollen from the anther to the stigma, either in the same flower or in another flower. Some tree species, including many fruit trees, do not produce fruit from self-pollination, so pollinizer trees are planted in orchards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pollination management</span> Horticultural practices to enhance pollination

Pollination management is the horticultural practices that accomplish or enhance pollination of a crop, to improve yield or quality, by understanding of the particular crop's pollination needs, and by knowledgeable management of pollenizers, pollinators, and pollination conditions.

<i>Sophora microphylla</i> Species of plant

Sophora microphylla, common name kōwhai, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to New Zealand. Growing to 8 m (26 ft) tall and broad, it is an evergreen shrub or small tree. Each leaf is 10 cm (4 in) long with up to 40 pairs of shiny oval leaflets. In early spring it produces many racemes of pea-like yellow flowers.

<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>Tilia platyphyllos</i> Species of tree

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 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. 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. It is not, however, closely related to the lime fruit tree, a species of citrus.

Forage (honey bee) Bee foraging

For bees, their forage or food supply consists of nectar and pollen from blooming plants within flight range. The forage sources for honey bees are an important consideration for beekeepers. In order to determine where to locate hives for maximum honey production and brood one must consider the off-season. If there are no honey flows the bees may have to be fed. Bees that are used for commercial pollination are usually fed in the holding yards. Forage is also significant for pollination management with other bee species. Nectar contains sugars that are the primary source of energy for the bees' wing muscles and for heat for honey bee colonies for winter. Pollen provides the protein and trace minerals that are mostly fed to the brood in order to replace bees lost in the normal course of life cycle and colony activity.

<i>Echium vulgare</i> Species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae

Echium vulgare — known as viper's bugloss and blueweed — is a species of flowering plant in the borage family Boraginaceae. It is native to most of Europe and western and central Asia and it occurs as an introduced species in north-eastern North America, south-western South America and the South Island of New Zealand. The plant root was used in ancient times as a treatment for snake or viper bites. If eaten, the plant is toxic to horses and cattle through the accumulation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the liver.

<i>Aquilegia coerulea</i> Species of flowering plant

Aquilegia coerulea, the Colorado blue columbine, is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native to the Rocky Mountains, USA. Aquilegia coerulea is the state flower of Colorado.

<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>Acer davidii</i> Species of maple

Acer davidii, or Père David's maple, is a species of maple in the snakebark maple group. It is native to China, from Jiangsu south to Fujian and Guangdong, and west to southeastern Gansu and Yunnan.

<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>Salix triandra</i> Species of tree

Salix triandra, with the common names almond willow, almond-leaved willow or black maul willow, is a species of willow native to Europe and Western and Central Asia. It is found from south-eastern England east to Lake Baikal, and south to Spain and the Mediterranean east to the Caucasus, and the Alborz Mountains. It usually grows in riparian habitats, on river and stream banks, and in wetlands.

<i>Prunus tomentosa</i> Species of tree

Prunus tomentosa is a species of Prunus native to northern and western China, Korea, Mongolia, and possibly northern India. Common names for Prunus tomentosa include Nanjing cherry, Korean cherry, Manchu cherry, downy cherry, Shanghai cherry, Ando cherry, mountain cherry, Chinese bush cherry, and Chinese dwarf cherry.

<i>Agastache foeniculum</i> Species of flowering plant

Agastache foeniculum, commonly called anise hyssop, blue giant hyssop, Fragrant giant hyssop, or the lavender giant hyssop, is a species of perennial plant in the mint family, (Lamiaceae). This plant is native to much of north-central and northern North America, notably the Great Plains and other prairies. It is tolerant of deer and drought, and also attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, bumblebees, honey bees, carpenter bees, and night flying moths.

Copou Park

The Copou Park or Copou Gardens is the oldest public park in Iaşi, Romania. Its development started in 1834 under the reign of Mihail Sturdza, making the park one of the first public gardens in Romania and a Iaşi landmark. In its centre lies the Obelisk of Lions (1834), a 13.5 m (44 ft) tall obelisk dedicated to Regulamentul Organic, the first law on political, administrative and juridical organization in the Romanian Principalities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eminescu's Linden Tree</span> 500-year-old tree in Copou Park, Iași, Romania

Eminescu's Linden Tree is a 500-year-old silver lime in Copou Park, Iași, Romania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lime tree in culture</span>

The lime tree, or linden, (Tilia) is important in the mythology, literature, and folklore of a number of cultures.

<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 mandshurica</i> Species of plant in the genus Tilia

Tilia mandshurica, the Manchurian linden or Manchurian lime, is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to China, the Korea Peninsula, Japan, and the Russian Far East. It is used as a street tree in its native range, and has potential elsewhere, but is susceptible to damage from late frosts.


  1. "Tilia tomentosa Moench". Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  2. USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Tilia tomentosa". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN   0-00-220013-9.
  4. Flora Europaea: Tilia tomentosa
  5. 1 2 Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN   0-00-212035-6
  6. Mitchell, A. F. (1996). Alan Mitchell's Trees of Britain. HarperCollins. ISBN   0-00-219972-6.
  7. "RHS Plant Selector - Tilia petiolaris" . Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  8. "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 102. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  9. Plants For A Future: Tilia tomentosa, which cites Lauriault, J. (1989). Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada. Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN   0-88902-564-9
  10. Viola, H., Wolfman, C., Levi de Stein, M., et al. (1994). "Isolation of pharmacologically active benzodiazepine receptor ligands from Tilia tomentosa (Tiliaceae)". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 44 (1): 47–53. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(94)90098-1. PMID   7990504.
  11. Illies, Ingrid (2007). "The Foraging Behaviour of Honeybees and Bumblebees on Late Blooming Lime Trees". Entomologia Generalis. Schweizerbart: 155–165. doi:10.1127/entom.gen/30/2007/155 . Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  12. Koch H & Stevenson PC (2017). "Do Linden trees kill bees? Reviewing the causes of bee deaths on Silver Linden (Tilia tomentosa)". Biology Letters. 13 (9): 20170484. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2017.0484. PMC   5627179 . PMID   28954857.
  13. Pettersen, L. & Baker, M. . Romania. Lonely Planet Travel Guide. p. 262.