American basswood Tiliaceae Tilia americana
Leaf:Alternate, simple, ovate to cordate, 5 to 6 inches long, with serrate margins, pinnately veined, base is unequally cordate, green above and paler below.
Flower:Species is monoecious; pale yellow, borne below a long, gracefully curving leafy wing in a many branched cluster, several inches long, appearing in early to mid-summer.
Fruit:A round, unribbed nutlet (1/4 inch) that is covered with gray-brown hair; occur in a hanging cluster with a curving, leafy bract acting as wing on top of the cluster, ripening in the fall.
Twig:Moderately stout, zigzag, green (summer) or red (winter); terminal bud is false, each very plump with one side bulging out disproportionately. Buds are edible but very mucilaginous.
Bark:At first smooth and gray-green, later turning gray-brown and becoming ridged with long, shallow furrows and flat topped ridges. The bark is very fibrous.
Form:A medium sized tree to 80 feet. Older trees very often sprout from the base when cut. Stumps sprout prolifically, often resulting in clumps of several trees.