Species list


Tilia platyphyllos

Large-leaved linden

Large-leaved linden, large-leaved lime (Eng), tilo, tilo de hojas grandes, tilo común (Spa), tell de fulla gran (Cat), ezki hostozabala (Baq), tileiro (Glg), tília-de-folhas-grandes (Por).


DID YOU KNOW...? The Swedish word lind means lime, which is Latinised as Linnaeus, the surname of the famous naturalist Carl Linnaeus, who devised the modern naming scheme for living organisms.


This tree can be up to 30 m tall, its trunk is straight, the crown is wide and well developed, and the bark is greyish. The leaves are 5-12 cm long, heart-shaped, somewhat asymmetrical and serrated along the margin. They are almost hairless or have some whitish hairs on the upper side, while on the underside these only appear in the axils of the veins. The flowers hang down and are accompanied by a tongue-shaped modified leaf (bract). The blooms usually develop in groups of 2 to 6 in the summer and are white or cream coloured. The ripe fruits have 5 longitudinal ribs, a characteristic that distinguishes this species from the small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata Mill.). However, these two lime trees can hybridise and produce individuals with intermediate characteristics.


This tree is usually isolated, but sometimes forms stands, mixed with other deciduous species. It requires a cool, humid climate and grows from sea level up to 1700 m. Although it can be found on all soil types, it prefers chalky substrates. This is a long-lived tree and thousand-year-old specimens are known of, growing next to chapels or churches, although normally they do not exceed 300 years of age.


This tree is native to central and southern Europe and western Asia, ranging from the south of the Iberian Peninsula to Ukraine, Turkey and northern Iran, and northwards towards Scandinavia. On the Iberian Peninsula it occurs in centre of Portugal, the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian mountains and from the Sistema Ibérico range up to the mountains of Cuenca and Guadalajara, with some specific examples being found in shady areas and ravines in Ciudad Real and Valencia. It is also widely used as a garden plant; it is common in parks and gardens, as well as lining avenues and walkways because of the shade it casts and the deep development of its roots.