Basswood Linden Lime Whitewood
=Habitat and Range.=--In rich woods and loamy soils.
Southern Canada from New Brunswick to Lake Winnipeg.
Throughout New England, frequent from the seacoast to altitudes of 1000
feet; rare from 1000 to 2000 feet.
South along the mountains to Georgia; west to Kansas, Nebraska, and
=Habit.=--A large tree, 5O-75 feet high, rising in the upper valley of
the Connecticut river to the height of 100 feet; trunk 2-4 feet in
diameter, erect, diminishing but slightly to the branching point; head,
in favorable situations, broadly ovate to oval, rather compact,
symmetrical; branches mostly straight, striking out in different trees
at varying angles; the numerous secondary branches mostly horizontal,
slender, often drooping at the extremities, repeatedly subdividing,
forming a dense spray set at broad angles. Foliage very abundant, green
when fully grown, almost impervious to sunlight; the small creamy
flowers in numerous clusters; the pale, odd-shaped bracts and pea-like
fruit conspicuous among the leaves till late autumn.
=Bark.=--Dark gray, very thick, smooth in young trees, later becoming
broadly and firmly ridged; in old trees irregularly furrowed; branches,
especially upon the upper side, dark brown and blackish; the season's
shoots yellowish-green to reddish-brown, and numerously rough-dotted.
The inner bark is fibrous and tough.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Leaf-buds small, conical, brownish red,
contrasting strongly with the dark stems. Leaves simple, alternate, 4-5
inches long, three-fourths as wide, green and smooth on both sides,
thickish, paler beneath, broad-ovate, one-sided, serrate, the point
often incurved; apex acuminate or acute; base heart-shaped to truncate;
midrib and veins conspicuous on the under surface with minute, reddish
tufts of down at the angles; stems smooth, 1-1-1/2 inches long; stipules
=Inflorescence.=--Late June or early July. In loose, slightly fragrant,
drooping cymes, the peduncle attached about half its length to a
narrowly oblong, yellowish bract, obtuse at both ends, free at the top,
and tapering slightly at the base, pedicels slender; calyx of 5 colored
sepals united toward the base; corolla of 5 petals alternate with the
sepals, often obscurely toothed at the apex; 5 petal-like scales in
front of the petals and nearly as long; calyx, petals, and scales
yellowish-white; stamens indefinite, mostly in clusters inserted with
the scales; anthers 2-celled, ovary 5-celled; style 1; stigma 5-toothed.
=Fruit.=--About the size of a pea, woody, globose, pale green, 1-celled
by abortion: 1-2 seeds.
=Horticultural Value.=--Useful as an ornamental or street tree; hardy
throughout New England, easily transplanted, and grows rapidly in almost
any well-drained soil; comes into leaf late and drops its foliage in
early fall. The European species are more common in nurseries. They are,
however, seriously affected by wood borers, while the native tree has
few disfiguring insect enemies. Usually propagated from the seed. A
horticultural form with weeping branches is sometimes cultivated.
=Note.=--There is so close a resemblance between the lindens that it is
difficult to distinguish the American species from each other, or from
their European relatives.
American species sometimes found in cultivation:
Tilia pubescens, Ait., is distinguished from Americana by its
smaller, thinner leaves and densely pubescent shoots.
Tilia heterophylla, Vent., is easily recognized by the pale or silver
white under-surface of the leaves.
There are several European species more or less common in cultivation,
indiscriminately known in nurseries as Tilia Europaea. They are all
easily distinguished from the American species by the absence of
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Flower enlarged.
4. Pistil with cluster of stamens, petaloid scale, petal, and sepal.
5. Fruiting branch.
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