Tilia americana

Tilia americana

name = "Tilia americana"

regnum = Plantae
unranked_divisio = Angiosperms
unranked_classis = Eudicots
unranked_ordo = Rosids
ordo = Malvales
familia = Malvaceae
genus = "Tilia"
species = "T. americana"
binomial = "Tilia americana"
binomial_authority = L.|

"Tilia americana" is a species of "Tilia", native to eastern North America, from southeast Manitoba east to New Brunswick, southwest to northeast Texas, and southeast to South Carolina, and west along the Niobrara River to Cherry County, Nebraska.U.S. Forest Service Silvis Manual: [http://na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/tilia/americana.htm "Tilia americana"] ] Germplasm Resources Information Network: [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?36668 "Tilia americana"] ] Common names include Basswood (also applied to other species of "Tilia" in the timber trade) and American Linden or the Lime-Tree.


It is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree reaching a height of 20-40 m (exceptionally 43 m) with a trunk diameter of 1-1.3 m at maturity. The crown is domed, the branches spreading, often pendulous. The bark is gray to light brown, with narrow, well defined fissures. The roots are large, deep, and spreading. The twigs are smooth, reddish-green, becoming light gray in their second year, finally dark brown or brownish gray, marked with dark wart-like excrescences. The winter buds are stout, ovate-acute, smooth, deep red, with two bud scales visible. The leaves are simple, alternately arranged, ovate to cordate, inequalateral at the base (the side nearest the branch the largest), 10-15 cm (can grow up to 25 cm) long and broad, with a long, slender petiole, a coarsely serrated margin and an acuminate apex. They open from the bud conduplicate, pale green, downy; when full grown are dark green, smooth, shining above, paler beneath, with tufts of rusty brown hairs in the axils of the primary veins; the small stipules fall soon after leaf opening. The fall color is yellow-green to yellow. Both the twigs and leaves contain mucilaginous sap. The flowers are small, fragrant, yellowish-white, 10–14 mm diameter, arranged in drooping, cymose clusters of 6–20 with a whitish-green leaf-like bract attached for half its length at the base of the cyme; they are perfect, regular, with five sepals and petals, numerous stamens, and a five-celled superior ovary. Flowering is in early to mid summer; pollination is by bees. The fruit is a small, globose, downy, hard and dry cream-colored nutlet with a diameter of 8-10 mm.USDA NRCS Tree Guide: [http://www.plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_tiama.pdf "Tilia americana" (pdf file)] ] cite book | last =Keeler | first =H. L. | title =Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them | publisher =Charles Scriber's Sons | date =1900 | location =New York | pages =24-31 ]


The circumscription of the species is disputed; some authorsJones, G. N. (1968). "Taxonomy of the American species of linden (Tilia)". Illinois Biological Monographs 39. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.] treat it in a narrow sense, with "Tilia caroliniana", "Tilia heterophylla", and "Tilia mexicana" regarded as separate species, while othersHardin, J. W. (1990). Variation patterns and recognition of varieties of Tilia americana s.l. "Syst. Bot". 15: 33-48. [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0363-6445%28199001%2F03%2915%3A1%3C33%3AVPAROV%3E2.0.CO%3B2-L&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage Abstract] .] Bio
http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/species/frame/tiamh.htm "Tillia americana" ssp. "heterophylla"] ] treat these as varieties or synonyms of "T. americana". The distribution and description above treat the species in its narrow sense; in the broad sense, the distribution extends southwards to Florida, and in Mexico west to Sinaloa and south to Oaxaca, and includes plants with the leaves white below with dense tomentum (velvety hairs).


This species is dominant in the "Acer saccharum" - "Tilia americana" association, most common in western Wisconsin and central Minnesota, but occurs as far east as New England and southern Quebec where the soils are mesic with relatively high pH. It also has minor occurrence in many other forest cover types.

Its flowers provide abundant nectar for insects. The seeds are eaten by chipmunks, mice and squirrels. Rabbits and voles eat the bark, sometimes girdling young trees. This species is particularly susceptible to adult Japanese beetles (an invasive species in the species' range) feeding on its leaves. [USDA: [http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/housing/japanese-beetle/jbeetle.html Managing Japanese beetles] ] In addition, the leaves serve as food for caterpillars of various Lepidoptera (see Lepidoptera which feed on "Tilia"). The ribbed cocoon maker species "Bucculatrix improvisa" has not been found on other plants.

Cultivation and uses

It may be propagated by cuttings and grafting as well as by seed. They grow rapidly in a rich soil, but are subject to the attacks of many insect enemies.

It is recommended as an ornamental tree when the mass of foliage or a deep shade is desired; no native tree surpasses it in this respect. It is often planted on the windward side of an orchard as a protection to young and delicate trees. It is cultivated at least as far north as Juneau, Alaska. [Juneau: [http://www.silverbowinn.com/downtown_tree_guide%20final%2006.pdf Downtown Juneau Tree Guide] ]

The foliage and flowers are both edible, though many prefer only to eat the tender young leaves. It is a beneficial species for attracting pollinators as well.

Cultivars include 'Nova', 'Duros' (with an upright crown), and the conic-crowned 'Redmond'.

Wood and bark

The wood is pale brown, sometimes nearly white or faintly tinged with red; light, soft with fine close grain; clear of knots but does not split easily. It is sold generally under the name basswood, but is sometimes confounded with tulip-wood and then called white-wood, and is largely used in the manufacture of wooden-ware, wagon boxes and furniture. It has a density of 0.4525. This makes it valuable in the manufacture of wooden-ware, cheap furniture, bodies of carriages; it is also especially adapted for wood-carving. Bees produce excellent honey from its blossoms. The inner bark is very tough and fibrous, used in the past for making ropes.It is a common wood for use in the production of solid body electric guitars, where it is considered an analouge for aspen and poplar, because it is light, strong and resonant, though it is usually used for guitars that will be painted an opaque color, because it's lack of notable grain makes it an unattractive candidate for transparent finish.

Medicinal Uses

Although "Tilia cordata" is believed to be stronger, "T. americana" is also used medicinally. The dried flowers are mildly sweet and sticky, and the fruit is somewhat sweet and mucilaginous. Linden tea has a pleasing taste, due to the aromatic volatile oil found in the flowers. The flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are used for medicinal purposes. Active ingredients in the linden flowers include flavanoids (which act as antioxidants), volatile oils, and mucilaginous constituents (which soothe and reduce inflammation). The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent.Bradley P, ed. British Herbal Compendium. Vol. I. Dorset (Great Britain): British Herbal Medicine Association; 1992: 142-144]

Linden flowers are used in colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. The flowers were added to baths to quell hysteria, and steeped as a tea to relieve anxiety-related indigestion, irregular heartbeat, and vomiting. The leaves are used to promote sweating to reduce fevers. The wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). That wood burned to charcoal is ingested to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat edema or infection, such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg. [Aguirre-Hernandez, E., Martinez, A. L., Gonzalez-Trujano, M. E., Moreno, J., Vibrans, H., & Soto-Hernandez, M. (2007). Pharmacological evaluation of the anxiolytic and sedative effects of Tilia americana L. var. mexicana in mice. "J. Ethnopharmacol". 109 (1): 140-145.]

ee also

Bois Blanc Island (Michigan)


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tilia americana —   Tilo americano …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tilia americana — Amerikanische Linde Amerikanische Linde (Tilia americana) Systematik Unterklasse: Rosenähnliche (Rosidae) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tilia americana — amerikinė liepa statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Liepinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, medingas, pluoštinis, medieninis augalas (Tilia americana), paplitęs Šiaurės Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Tilia americana angl. American basswood; American lime; …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Tilia Americana — Linden Lin den (l[i^]n den), n. [Orig. an adj. from lind linden tree, AS. lind; akin to D. & G. linde, OHG. linta, Icel., Sw., & Dan. lind. Cf. {Lime} linden.] (Bot.) (a) A handsome tree ({Tilia Europ[ae]a}), having cymes of light yellow flowers …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tilia Americana — Basswood Bass wood , n. (Bot.) The bass ({Tilia}) or its wood; especially, {Tilia Americana}. See {Bass}, the lime tree. [1913 Webster] All the bowls were made of basswood, White and polished very smoothly. Longfellow. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tilia americana — ID 84287 Symbol Key TIAM Common Name American basswood Family Tiliaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Tilia americana var. americana — ID 84288 Symbol Key TIAMA Common Name American basswood Family Tiliaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution CT, DC, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NH,… …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Tilia americana var. heterophylla — ID 84309 Symbol Key TIAMH Common Name American basswood Family Tiliaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY,… …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Tilia americana var. caroliniana — ID 84295 Symbol Key TIAMC Common Name Carolina basswood Family Tiliaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX Growth Habit Tree …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Tilia americana — Sortlind …   Danske encyklopædi

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