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Linden (Basswood)   arrow

American Linden: Tilia spp.
Family: Malvaceae, Mallow

Key Steps


Linden leafLeaf: Large (4-10 inches), heart-shaped leaf. Base is usually uneven. Tip is pointed. Three veins start at base. Auxiliary tufts of hair beneath. Coarsely toothed. May have stipules. Medium-dark green.

Bud: Hairless, small, pointed, shiny (2-3 visible scales, one scale is larger and bulging, giving the bud a tilted or lopsided look). Bud shaped like a teardrop. May be red, green or brown. Not stalked. Branch scar next to false terminal bud.

Leaf Scar: More than 3 bundle scars. May have stipule scars.

Stem: Newer growth: slender and green. Older growth becoming stouter, slightly zigzag, smooth.

Bark: Light brown, deeply furrowed on older trees.

Pith: Continuous, white.

Flower: Fragrant, yellow, 5-petaled, June to July. Attracts bees.

Fruit: Whitish “berry” attached by long stalk to leaf-like, light green appendage (bract), which turns tan when mature. May persist through winter.

Habit: Formal, dense, shade tree. Usually has a strong central leader. 50 feet by 40 feet.

Culture: Full sun, well-drained, moderate moisture. pH adaptable.

Littleleaf Linden (T. cordata) — Very similar, but smaller in leaf, bud and habit. 45 feet by 30 feet. Conical, dense. May sucker. ‘Greenspire’ is 45 feet by 25 feet; with glossy, dark green leaves.

Redmond Linden (T. x euchlora ‘Redmond’) — Medium to fast growth rate. Reddish bark and stems. Narrow branch unions.