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The Plant Guide

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American linden

Tilia americana

TIL-ee-ah ah-mer-ih-KAH-nah Audio

This deciduous tree with dense foliage and a stately habit produces hanging clusters of fragrant yellow flowers in mid-summer. It grows in a broadly columnar shape and has dark green leaves that are glossy underneath. Basswood makes a good specimen or street tree, although it doesn’t tolerate pollution. It can grow as tall as 80 feet with a width of 50 feet. It attracts bees; basswood honey is a sought-after gourmet food.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsFragrant flowers and dense foliage.

CareProvide moist but well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. Protect from very dry conditions and strong winds. It prefers alkaline to neutral soil, but can tolerate acidic soil.

PropagationSow seed as soon as ripe in a seedbed in fall. Or stratify for several months and sow in spring in a cold frame. (Garden-collected seed may yield hybrids of variable quality.)

ProblemsAnthracnose, butt rot, canker, powdery mildew, bacterial leaf spot, caterpillars (including gypsy moth larvae), lace bugs, aphids, borers, Japanese beetles, mites. Verticillium wilt is infrequent, but fatal.

  • Genus : Tilia
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Height : 30 feet or more
  • Plant Width : 30 feet or more
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Flower Color : Yellow
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