T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Tilia cordata (Little leaf linden)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Tiliaceae
Genus: Tilia
Species: T. cordata
Binomial name: Tilia cordata
Common names: Little leaf linden, Small leaved lime, Small leaved lime.

Tilia is a species of Tilia native to much of Europe, from Britain through central Fennoscandia, to central Russia, and south to central Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, the Caucasus, and western Asia.
Tilia cordata is a deciduous tree growing to up to 40 m tall, diameter 1/3 to 1/2 the height, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The bark is smooth and greyish when young, firm with vertical ridges and horizontal fissures when older. The crown is rounded in a formal oval shape to pyramidal. Branching is upright and increases in density with age. The leaves are alternately arranged, rounded to triangular-ovate, 3–8 cm long and broad, mostly hairless except for small tufts of brown hair in the leaf vein axils. The leaves are distinctively heart-shaped with a fine serrated edge. 

The buds are alternate, pointed egg shaped and have red scales. 4–15 small yellow-green hermaphrodite flowers are produced on an inflorescence in early summer. They have 5 sepals, 5 petals, and are a yellowish-white and are strongly scented. Stamens numerous, there is 5 fused carpels. 
The fruit is a dry nut-like drupe 6–7 mm long by 4 mm broad containing one, or sometimes two, brown seeds.