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Tilia americana (American linden, Basswood)

Tilia americana Photo/Illustration: Michael Dirr


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Tilia americana TIL-ee-ah ah-mer-ih-KAH-nah Common Name: American linden, Basswood Genus: Tilia
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 characteristics: Fragrant flowers and dense foliage.
Care: Provide 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.
Propagation: Sow 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.)
Problems: Anthracnose, 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.
Height Over 30 ft.
Spread Over 30 ft.
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Attracts Butterflies; Fragrant Flowers; Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage; Showy Fruit
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Yellow Flower
Uses Roadside, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point
Style Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest
Type Trees

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