Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate to cordate, 2 to 4 inches long, with serrate margins, pinnately veined, inequilateral base, 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, conspicuously 5-sided nutlet (1/4 inch) that is covered with gray-brown hair; occur in a hanging cluster with a curving, leafy bract acting as a wing on top of the cluster, ripening in the fall.
Twig: Slender, zigzag, green-brown or red-tinged (particularly in the winter); terminal bud is false, buds are plump with one side bulging conspicuously, edible and when eaten they are mucilaginous.
Bark: Gray or brown, ridged with shallow furrows; young stems are brown and soon become ridged. The bark is quite fibrous.
Form: A small to medium tree to 70 feet with a dense, round crown. In the U.S. it is typically only seen when open grown where it develops into a small tree as wide as it is tall.
Looks like: American basswood - silver linden
Additional Range Information: Tilia cordata is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information