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Common Lime

Tilia x europaea

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Malvaceae (Mallow)
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, parks, towns, woodland.

Yellow, 5 petals
4-10 hanging yellowish-green flowers per cluster, each having a leafy yellowish-green bract. 5 petals. Insect pollinated.
This tree is not the same kind of tree as the Lime fruit tree. The Common Lime produced large, winged, nut-like fruits.
A deciduous tree. The red leaf buds have 1 small and 1 large scale. The leaves are long-stalked and heart-shaped, dimensions are anything up to 6cm wide and 10cm long. The leaf bases are asymmetrical. The undersides of the leaves have vein axils with distinctive tufts of white hairs present. Leaves fade to yellow in autumn before dropping off over winter.
Flowers are fragrant.
Other Names:
Common Linden, European Lime.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Tilia x europaea, also known as the "common lime" or "European lime," is a hybrid species of deciduous tree that is a cross between Tilia cordata and Tilia platyphyllos. It is native to Europe and western Asia. It can grow up to 40 meters tall and has a broad, spreading crown. The leaves are large and heart-shaped, similar to Tilia platyphyllos. The tree produces drooping clusters of yellowish-green flowers that are very fragrant, followed by small nut-like fruits (drupe) that hang on the tree during winter. Tilia x europaea prefers moist, well-drained soils and full sun. It is often grown as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks and also used in ornamental horticulture, as well as for honey production.


The Common Lime tree, also known as Tilia x europaea, is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe. It is commonly found in parks, gardens, and along streets in urban areas due to its ornamental value, but it is also an important tree for its medicinal properties.

Appearance and Characteristics

The Common Lime tree is a large tree that can grow up to 40 meters in height. Its bark is smooth and gray, and its leaves are heart-shaped and dark green. The tree produces fragrant yellow-white flowers in late spring or early summer, which attract bees and other pollinators.

The tree also produces small, round fruits that are about 8mm in diameter. These fruits are green when young and turn brown as they mature. The fruits are not edible for humans but are a valuable food source for birds.


The Common Lime tree has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The tree's flowers, leaves, and bark are all used to make herbal remedies. The flowers are often used to make teas or tinctures that are believed to have a calming effect on the body. The leaves and bark are used to make infusions or decoctions that are thought to have a diuretic effect.

The wood of the Common Lime tree is also valuable and is used for making furniture, musical instruments, and paper pulp. The tree's inner bark is used to make rope and twine, and the tree's sap can be used to make a sweet syrup.

Ecological Importance

The Common Lime tree is an important tree for wildlife. Its flowers are a valuable source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, and its fruits are a valuable food source for birds. The tree's large size also provides valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife.

The Common Lime tree is also important for its ability to absorb pollutants from the air. The tree's leaves can absorb harmful pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and ozone, which can help to improve air quality in urban areas.

The Common Lime tree is a beautiful and valuable tree that has many uses. Its medicinal properties, wood, and ecological importance make it an important tree for humans and wildlife alike. If you are looking for a large, ornamental tree that also has ecological benefits, consider planting a Common Lime tree in your yard or garden.

The Common Lime tree has a rich cultural history and has been revered in many cultures for centuries. In ancient Greek mythology, the tree was dedicated to Zeus, the king of the gods. It was believed that the tree's fragrant flowers would bring good fortune and protection to those who planted it near their homes.

In medieval times, the tree was often planted near churches and other religious buildings. It was believed that the tree's fragrant flowers would bring spiritual purity and enlightenment to the faithful.

Today, the Common Lime tree is still an important cultural symbol in many parts of Europe. In Germany, the tree is often used as a symbol of national identity, and it is featured on the country's 10 euro cent coin. In England, the tree is sometimes called the "Linden" tree, and it is featured in many works of literature and art.

Facts about the Common Lime tree

Here are some facts and a summary about the Common Lime tree:

  1. The Common Lime tree, also known as Tilia x europaea, is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe.
  2. It can grow up to 40 meters in height and has a broad, rounded crown.
  3. The leaves of the Common Lime tree are heart-shaped, with a pointed tip and a serrated edge.
  4. The tree produces small, yellowish-white flowers in clusters that are fragrant and attract bees.
  5. The fruit of the tree is a small, round nut-like structure with a hard shell.
  6. The wood of the Common Lime tree is lightweight and used in furniture making, carving, and musical instrument construction.

The Common Lime tree is a large deciduous tree that is native to Europe. It is known for its heart-shaped leaves, fragrant flowers, and lightweight wood. The tree can grow up to 40 meters in height and is often used in furniture making and musical instrument construction. Its small, yellowish-white flowers are attractive to bees and produce a fragrant scent. The fruit of the tree is a small, hard nut-like structure.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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