Tilia tomentosa

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 Tilia tomentosa subsp. var.  European white lime, Silver Lime (UK), Silver Linden (US)
Tilia tomentosa12.JPEG
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
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Height: 80 ft to 100 ft
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Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun
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USDA Zones: 6 to 9
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Tiliaceae > Tilia tomentosa var. , Moench

Tilia tomentosa (Silver Lime in the UK and Silver Linden in the US) is a species of Tilia native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, from Hungary and the Balkans east to western Turkey, occurring at moderate altitudes.[1][2]

It is a deciduous tree growing to 20-35 m tall, with a trunk up to 2 m diameter. The leaves are alternately arranged, rounded to triangular-ovate, 4-13 cm long and broad with a 2.5–4 cm petiole, green and mostly hairless above, densely white tomentose with white hairs below, and with a coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are pale yellow, hermaphrodite, produced in cymes of three to ten in mid to late summer with a pale green subtending leafy bract; they have a strong scent and are pollinated by honeybees. The nectar however contains sugars which cannot be digested by bumble bees, to which the tree is somewhat toxic. The fruit is a dry nut-like drupe 8–10 mm long, downy, and slightly ribbed.[1][3]

It is widely grown as an ornamental tree throughout Europe. It is very tolerant of urban pollution, soil compaction, heat, and drought, and would be a good street tree in urban areas, but for the problems it causes leaving numerous dead and comatose bumble bees on the street below the tree.[1][4]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Tilia tomentosa, Moench (T. argentea, DC. T. alba, Ait. T. alba pyramidalis, Hort.). White Linden. Tree, to 100 ft. with upright branches: young branchlets stellate-tomentose: lvs. nearly orbicular, abruptly acuminate, truncate or cordate at the base, serrate or doubly serrate, often lobulate, with short-pointed teeth, sparingly pubescent above, white-tomentose beneath, 3-5 in. across; petiole pubescent, less than half of the length of the blade: fls. 7-10, in pendulous tomentose cymes: fr. ovoid, slightly 5-angled, tomentose; shell woody. July. E. Eu., Asia Minor. —This is a very handsome tree of dense habit with upright branches; it stands heat and drought better than any of the other species. Its fls. and those of the following species have proved poisonous to bees. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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The cultivar 'Brabant' has a strong central stem and a symmetrical conic crown. The cultivar 'Petiolaris' (Pendent Silver Lime) differs in longer leaf petioles 4–8 cm long and drooping leaves; it is of unknown origin and usually sterile, and may be a hybrid with another Tilia species.[1][3]



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