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 va
ley 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

soon falling.

=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

petal-like scales.

1. Winter buds.

2. Flowering branch.

3. Flower enlarged.

4. Pistil with cluster of stamens, petaloid scale, petal, and sepal.

5. Fruiting branch.