Species of the Week: Linden Tree

And now It’s time for… drumroll please ….

Species of the Week! (A post in which I learn to identify some sort of species, take poor photographs and tell you about it. Thanks for joining me!)

Today: The Linden Tree (Tilia spp.)

(Also known as Basswood, or sometimes in the British Isles, Lime trees – weirdly, as they’re not related to the citrus fruit.)

Here is my Linden tree.

Image

It smells amazing right now. For some reason, it’s blooming way ahead of any of the other Lindens in the neighbourhood. Here is a closer picture of the blossoms.

Image

Lindens are deciduous, with jagged, heart shaped leaves. They have little white bunches of white/yellow flowers, and long yellow bracts (specialized leaf associated with the flower portion) that you may confuse with leaves (I did). The tree has a yellowish tinge as a result.

It turns out Lindens are important trees for beekeeping, as the nectar is sweet and favoured by bees, and results in good quality honey. That would explain why the bees are having a riot back there. I have to admit, standing right under it is a little intimidating. It sounds a little like a construction site. In a time when we should be concerned about bee extinction, these trees can provide important life support!

The wood is soft and light, and often used in woodworking. The leaves and flowers are edible, and have long been used in teas and herbal remedies.

If you’re interested in harvesting some Linden and making your own tea, maybe look at the following:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/437491-how-to-dry-linden-tea/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvLc4SyljDk

I’ve gotta try this!

At the moment, some sort of bug appears to be eating all the Lindens in our neighbourhood. If I figure out what that is, perhaps I will post THAT species!

Sources:

http://na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/tilia/americana.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basswood

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-123.pdf

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/3310/

 

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Posted on June 28, 2013, in Species of the week and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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