Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
About 30, including:
Tilia americana - Basswood or American Linden
Tilia cordata - Small-leaved lime
Tilia mongolica - Mongolian linden
Tilia platyphyllos - Large-leaved lime
Tilia tomentosa - Silver linden
Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of tree. Traditionally (i.e. under the Cronquist classification system), this genus was placed in the family Tiliaceae . The modern APG system incorporates this family into the Malvaceae.
The trees are generally called linden in North America, and lime in Britain. Both names are derived from the Germanic root lind. The modern forms in English derive from linde or linne in Anglo Saxon and old Norse, and in Britain the word morphed more recently to the modern British form lime. In the United States, the modern German name linden, from the same root, became more common, partly to avoid confusion with any other uses of the name. Neither the name nor the tree is in any way related to the citrus fruit called "lime" (Citrus aurantifolia).
In the United States, another widely-used common name for T. americana is Basswood, derived from bast, the name for the inner bark (see Uses, below).
The lindens are large deciduous trees, reaching typically 20-40m tall, with oblique-cordate leaves 6-20cm across, and are found through the north temperate regions. Members of the genus include:
- Basswood or American Linden, Tilia americana
- Common Lime , Tilia x europaea (hybrid T. cordata x T. platyphyllos)
- Mongolian Linden, Tilia mongolica
- Silver Linden, Tilia tomentosa
- Small-leaved lime or Little-leaf Linden Tilia cordata
- Large-leaved lime Tilia platyphyllos
The tree produces a fragrant and nectar-producing flowers, the medicinal herb Lime Blossom. They are very important honey plants for beekeepers, producing a very pale but richly flavoured honey. The flowers are also used for herbal tea. T. cordata is the preferred species for medical use; having a high concentration of active compounds. The leaf buds and young leaves are also edible raw.
The timber of lime trees is soft and easily worked. It is known in the trade as basswood, particularly in North America. This name originates from the inner fibrous bark of the tree, known as bast (Old English language). Fibre was obtained from the younger wood of the tree.
- Dragostea Din Tei - a Romanian/Moldovan song referring to lindens
- Unter den Linden - an avenue of lindens in Berlin, Germany
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