Small Leaved Lime / Linden



Tilia cordata

Deciduous tree growing to 30m in height, but very amenable to coppicing or pollarding so can be kept small enough even for urban gardens. Ornamental with small, heavily scented yellow-green flowers in early summer. Suitable for most soil types, prefers some moisture and dislikes extremes of wet or dry. Full sun or part shade. If allowed to grow tall it will cast deep shade. Frost hardy. Can tolerate strong winds but not maritime exposure. Even older specimens are easily transplanted if required.

The young leaves are said to be great in salads and sandwiches, and can also be used in cooked dishes, e.g, layered in lasagna, so the plant can therefore be classed as a perennial vegetable. A chocolate substitute can be made from a paste of ground-up flowers and fruit, and a sweet, fragrant herbal tea can be made from the young flowers. (Older flowers may be narcotic!)

Sap is sweet and can be harvested in spring for drinks or syrups.  Lime flowers have several medicinal properties, in particular for treating colds and flu.  Flowers produce an abundance of nectar and are a very valuable source for bees. Linden honey is particularly nutritious and medicinal.  A fibre from the bark can be used for making paper, cloth, mats, baskets, ropes etc.  The wood is soft and easily carved for non-durable items, and charcoal from the wood is used for drawing. Lindens are also excellent mineral accumulators. They are the national tree of the Czech Republic and known there as the Tree of Hope.

Size PB5.  Approx height 50 – 70cm. Certified Organic Plant.