Malvaceae (family name)
Forage for Pollinators: Produces Nectar in abundance (mainly in the morning before midday, the optimum temperature being about 20ºC for secretion) and is considered one of the major honey plants all over Europe, for Honeybees. Linden honey is considered to be valuable in both nutritional and medical aspects, producing a very pleasant slightly minty-flavoured, pale green-tinged honey. The flowers also feed short-tongued Bumblebees such as the buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), and the red-tailed bumblebee (B. lapidarius), and some long-tongued-bumblebees and some Solitary bees. Pollinated by bees.
Flowering time: June, July.
Growing information: NATIVE DECIDUOUS TREE growing to 8m (26ft) by 5m (16ft) in ten years. Medium sized tree, ultimately reaching 20m (65ft) or more, growing well on deep, well-drained fertile loams of acid (pH5.5) to neutral (pH 7.7) soils. In Britain this species is considered an indicator of ancient woodland, and is becoming increasingly rare. Because of this rarity a number of woods have been given SSSI status. One such site is Shrawley Wood in Worcestershire. One reason why this species (T. cordata) is especially good to plant, apart from the fact we have lost so many in the British Isles, is because it is also the most resistant to ‘honeydew’, which causes problems with dripping and leads to sooty black mould.
The ivory flowers are sweetly, richly scented appearing in clusters a little later than other Limes which grow here. Young leaves are eaten raw such as in salad or sandwich filling. Lime flowers (as a tea) are traditionally used medicinally for a number of ailments, such as indigestion, hypertension, hardening of the arteries or palpitation. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
*The Najevnik linden tree, an about 700 years old Tilia cordata, is the thickest tree in Slovenia. It is a place of cultural events, and every June a national meeting of Slovene politicians takes place under it! (*source: Wikipedia)
(Can be pot-grown for many years. Will not flower until between 10 to 20 years old: so invest for your children’s bees!).