American lime tree

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American lime tree
American lime tree (Tilia americana)

American lime tree ( Tilia americana )

Eurosiden II
Order : Mallow-like (Malvales)
Family : Mallow family (Malvaceae)
Subfamily : Linden family (Tilioideae)
Genre : Linden ( Tilia )
Type : American lime tree
Scientific name
Tilia americana

The Lime ( Tilia americana ) is a plant from the genus of Linden ( Tilia ) in the family of the Malvaceae (Malvaceae). It is widespread with four varieties from North America to Mexico.


Stalked, simple leaf
Illustration from Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry, Volume 11
Branch with fruit heads
Branch with leaves
Illustration from A guide to the trees , panel LXXVI

Vegetative characteristics

The American linden tree is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of growth of around 23 meters with a trunk diameter of around 70 centimeters. Stick rash often occurs and the specimens can sometimes have multiple stems. The treetop is open and arched. The bark of young twigs is apple green and bare. The dark gray bark is longitudinally fissured. The green leaf buds are egg-shaped.

The alternate leaves are arranged in two rows and are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The relatively thick and yellow-tinged petiole is about 5 centimeters long. The thin, simple leaf blade is ovoid to heart-shaped with a slate blade base with a length of 5 to 15, rarely up to 20 centimeters and a diameter of 5 to 12, rarely up to 18 centimeters. Both leaf surfaces yellowish green and glabrous; this identical coloration on both leaf sides is a good distinguishing feature from other linden species. The underside of the leaf is balding, initially with clusters of simple, forked or bundled hairs (trichomes) on the branches of the leaf veins . The upper side of the leaf is usually bald or bare. The autumn color is sometimes yellow, but mostly brown. The stipules fall off early.

Generative characteristics

Ten to twelve flowers are grouped together in pendulous gold-like inflorescences . The bract is green with a pink central rib and 7 to 10 centimeters long with clearly recognizable veins and clearly hairy, bald or bald. The inflorescence stem arises near or below the middle of the bract. The clearly hairy or balding flower stalks are chess club-shaped with a length of 4 to over 15 millimeters.

The fragrant, yellow, hermaphrodite flowers are radial symmetry and five-fold with a double flower envelope . The sepals are 4 to 6, rarely up to 9 millimeters long. The petals 5 to 9, rarely up to 11 millimeters long. The staminodes are 4 to 7, rarely up to 10 millimeters long. The ovary is sessile.

The ellipsoidal to spherical fruits with a length of 5 to 10 millimeters are not ribbed.

The basic chromosome number is x = 41; there is diploidy with a chromosome number of 2n = 82.


The American lime tree thrives in North America in forests and along the banks of rivers and lakes at altitudes of 10 to 800 meters.

The American linden thrives in North America in beech-sugar maple forests (Aceretalia sacchari) and in elm-silver maple forests (Ulmo-Aceretalia saccharini).

Distribution area (1938)
Young specimen of Tilia americana var. Heterophylla with leaves

Systematics and distribution

Tilia americana was first published in 1753 by Carl von Linné in Species Plantarum , 1, p. 514.

The wide distribution area of ​​the American lime tree extends from Canada and the central to eastern USA to Mexico.

Varieties have been described, but some authors, for example Strother 2015 in the Flora of North America , are discussing whether these subtaxa should be recognized or whether they are separate species. However, he opts for the subtaxa and is dealing with only one species in North America including Mexico.

Depending on the author, there are four varieties of Tilia americana :

  • Tilia americana L. var. Americana (syn .: Tilia glabra . Vent , Tilia americana var. Neglecta (Spach) Fosberg , Tilia glabra var. Neglecta (Spach) Bush , Tilia neglecta Spach ): It is from the eastern and western Canada ( New Brunswick , Ontario , Quebec , Manitoba ) through the northeast and north-central to the southeast USA ( Illinois , Iowa , Kansas , Minnesota , Missouri , Nebraska , North Dakota , South Dakota , Wisconsin , Connecticut , Maine , Massachusetts , New Hampshire , New Jersey , New York , Ohio , Pennsylvania , Vermont , West Virginia , Arkansas , Kentucky , Maryland , North Carolina , Tennessee , Virginia ) common.
  • Tilia americana var. Caroliniana (Mill.) Castigl. (Syn .: Tilia caroliniana Mill. ): It occurs in the north-central, south-central to southeastern USA ( Oklahoma , Texas , Alabama , Arkansas , Georgia , Louisiana , Mississippi , North Carolina, South Carolina , Florida ).
  • Tilia americana var. Heterophylla (Vent.) Loudon (Syn .: Tilia heterophylla Vent. , Tilia americana subsp. Heterophylla (Vent) AEMurray. , Tilia caroliniana subsp. Heterophylla (Vent.) Pigott , Tilia nigra var. Heterophylla (Vent.) A.Br. nom. Inval., Tilia apposita (Ashe) Ashe , Tilia australis Small , Tilia caroliniana var. Lata Ashe , Tilia eburnea Ashe , Tilia floridana var. Australis (Small) Sarg. , Tilia heterophylla var. Amphiloba Sarg. , Tilia heterophylla var. michauxii coffin. , Tilia heterophyll a var. microdonta V.Engl. , Tilia heterophylla var. nivea coffin. , Tilia heterophylla var. tenera (Ashe) Ashe , Tilia lasioclada coffin. , Tilia lata Ashe , Tilia michauxii Nutt. nom. inval., Tilia michauxii Nutt. ex coffin. , Tilia monticola coffin. , Tilia opposita Ashe , Tilia tenera Ashe , Tilia venulosa coffin. ): It occurs in the north-central, northeastern to southeastern USA (Illinois, Missouri, Indiana , Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, M aryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia , Florida).
  • Tilia americana var. Mexicana (Schltr.) Hardin (Syn .: Tilia mexicana Schltr. , Tilia ambigua coffin. Ex Bush , Tilia arsenei Bush , Tilia cordata Rose ex Bush nom. Illeg. Non Mill. , Tilia coahuilana Bush , Tilia houghii Rose , Tilia longipes Bush , Tilia nelsonii Bush , Tilia moreliana Bush , Tilia patzcuaroana Bush nom. Illeg., Tilia pertomentosa Bush , Tilia pringlei Rose ex Bush , Tilia roseana Bush , Tilia rotunda Bush , Tilia sargentiana Bush ): She is in Mexico ( Chihuahua , Coahuila , Durango , Nuevo León , San Luis Potosí , Sinaloa , Tamaulipas , Guerrero , Hidalgo , Jalisco , México , Michoacán , Morelos , Oaxaca , Puebla , Querétaro , Veracruz ).


The wood and the fibers are used. The American linden tree is a bee pasture .

The medical effects were examined.

The American linden tree is occasionally used as a street or park tree in the temperate areas of the world.

There are varieties (selection):

  • 'Nova': Under this variety name, the normal species was often planted in parks in the past.
  • 'Redmond': This variety forms a conical crown.


  • John L. Strother: Tilia : Tilia americana - the same text online as the printed work , In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (Ed.): Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 6: Magnoliophyta: Cucurbitaceae to Droserceae , Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, November 19, 2015, ISBN 0-19-534027-2 .
  • Alan Mitchell: A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins Publishers, London 1974. (Eng.)

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n John L. Strother: Tilia : Tilia americana - text online as printed work , In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.): Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 6: Magnoliophyta: Cucurbitaceae to Droserceae , Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, November 19, 2015, ISBN 0-19-534027-2 .
  2. a b c data sheet of the Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech .
  3. a b data sheet with photos at .
  4. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas. 8th edition. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 . Page 656.
  5. ^ Tilia americana at In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  6. Carl von Linné 1753: scanned in at .
  7. a b c d e f g h Tilia americana in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  8. ^ Tilia americana at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, accessed November 7, 2016.
  9. a b c James W. Hardin: Variation patterns and recognition of varieties of Tilia americana sl In: Systematic Botany , Volume 15, Issue 1, 1990, pp. 33-48. JSTOR 2419014
  10. TR Crow: Data Sheet - Tilia americana L. - American Basswood at the USDA Forest Service.
  11. Profile of Tilia americana var. Americana at USDA.
  12. ^ Tilia americana at Plants For A Future . Retrieved on Access = 2016-11-07.

Web links

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