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Which should be given priority: Lime (UK usage) or Linden (US usage)?[edit]

Despite having been brought up with using Lime, I feel that Linden is the more appropriate, as:
(a) Linden is an old English common name as well, is still in popular use in some parts of Britain, and is generally fairly well-known as an alternative name here;
(b) Lime as a name for Tilia is almost unknown in the US, so many there will be confused by it, not least because
(c) Lime is also widely used for other plants (Citrus spp.), while Linden is unique to Tilia.
Finally, (d) Linden is closer to the common names in several other European languages (Swedish, Danish, German, etc), so will be more readily recognised by non-English readers.

I think it would be a good idea to change the wording to give Linden as the first choice of English name for Tilia species.

Anyone wish to comment? MPF 23:23, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

My 2 cents - sounds like a good idea. WormRunner 23:28, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Tilia is almost universally called basswood in the US, Linden would not be recognized by some, and considered a poetic rendering by others. Lime would be universally identified as a citrus fruit. Pollinator 23:59, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Thanks; Pollinator, I'm intrigued by your note, as on the Gardenweb Trees Forum, the American members almost universally use Linden for most species in the genus; basswood (usually?) refers to Tilia americana in particular, rather than the genus as a whole. Maybe it is a difference between different groups of people within the US, perhaps foresters using one and gardeners the other? MPF 13:53, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I am confident that few Americans would recognize the name "American Linden," unless they are of a scientific bent, or have been in Europe and know a little about European tilia. I feel that I'm qualified to say this as I have made honey from basswood in several eastern states. I've also been involved in timbering in NY and PA which is the heart of the basswood's range.
I bottled and sold Tilia americana varietal honey as "American Linden" because it sounds much more poetic than "basswood." Most people had no idea what it was, and it took awhile to build up market name recognition. I have thus rewritten the untrue edit by Imc. I have little idea of what names are used for European species and won't presume to tell you what you call them. But I believe I know American practice.Pollinator 01:09, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
As a UK-ian, I often feel obliged to be a defender of international usage over a presumption that the US form should take priority. But in this case I would agree with putting Linden first, for the excellent reasons given by MPF (which I can attest from personal experience: as a child I was horribly confused between lime trees and limes, and furthermore I never knew what a linden was, though I encountered references to them in folk songs and stories). It might be a good idea to check out what other English-speaking countries do, though. Canada doesn't necessarily follow US usage, and the rest of the world tends to follow UK usage. Much depends on whether there are many Tilia spp in India or Australia, for example. I'd be against "basswood" as a primary name, however - I am fairly sure this is unknown outside North America (obviously it would be fair enough for T. americana, though). seglea 16:59, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Hi Seglea, me too on the international vs US! I checked up, the only English speaking countries with native Tilia spp. are Britain, Canada & USA, but they are grown as ornamentals in parts of Australia. Canada uses the same as the US (linden and basswood); a quick google check of .au websites for Tilia reveals linden as the majority in Australia too. Unless anyone objects, I'll start editing in the next day or two
Michael MPF 18:13, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
My apologies for changing some names back from Linden to Lime yesterday, I never looked at the talk pages. However, I have to say that I've never heard of the name Linden here in Britain except in an American context. I suggest that we keep the different names for the different contexts. For a parallel, I suggest that the situation in Platanus (plane vs sycamore) looks like a suitable compromise, with plane being used for the oriental species, and sycamore for the American species. Imc 21:41, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

As an American who has taught English in Germany, I have continually having to say 'They say this in England, and we say that in the US, something the French and Swedish teachers didn't have to do. Any discussion of the common name of Tilia species HAS to include regional differences. That's why the Latin naming system was introduced. The name lime in the US refers ONLY to the citrus fruit and to no other tree. 8 April 2010

I'm replacing the section on etymology. I have seen no evidence that the exact form 'linden' with the final 'n', existed in Anglo Saxon or Norse, or that it is used anywhere today in Britain, except in borrowings from German or US English. The Anglo Saxon form was linde, which changed to linne in old English, probably under Norse influence (see the Flora Britannica, Concise Oxford Dictionary). The word linden was used, but only as a grammatical derivative, meaning like the lind (cf. ashen, oaken). Imc 12:20, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi Imc - not entirely so; e.g. "the lime is also known, on both sides of the Atlantic, by its older name of linden" (A F Mitchell, Forestry Commission Booklet 20, 1968). I know of linden in UK popular usage as a northern England / Scotland country name; admittedly rare now, but still heard at least occasionally from old folk. Linden is also surprisingly often (more so than lime in e.g. Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester, to look in two street atlases) used as a street name (Linden Road, Linden Avenue, etc) - MPF 15:51, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

OK, I have to admit, that on modern usage, I'm reliant on my personal experience (and I am a horticultural professional), and the works quoted above. I don't know much of northern English usage. I do know of at least one road with 'Linden' in it in London, but assumed (since it was in an area with a high Jewish immigrant community) that it was also a German import. Looking up British place names shows several places called Linden something, and there appears to be no other origin for the name.

Imc 17:50, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Tilia species pages[edit]

Given the not entirely settled problem over common names, I'd suggest the species all be moved to their scientific names to avoid problems and confusion. Tilia platyphyllos has been so moved for starters, I'll do the rest soon unless there are strong objections - MPF 17:02, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

old Slovenian proverb[edit]

The old Slovenian proverb says "The true Slovenian must raise a child, write a book and plant a tree".

This has absolutely nothing to do with Tilia. bogdan ʤjuʃkə | Talk 17:46, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

National tree of . . .[edit]

From the text:
The lime tree is the national emblem of Slovenia, where it is called lipa.

Added by User: :
Not sure if the previous line is an error, but I am certain that the lime tree was the national tree of the former Czechoslovakia and is now the national tree of the Czech Republic. It is called Lipa.

Does anyone know for certain which country/countries have Tilia as their national tree? No reason it shouldn't be shared by all of them, but I don't know the details - MPF 16:21, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Lime tree / Linde / Lipa[edit]

The lime tree is the old legendary tree, I may say a holy tree, of the Slavs. This dates from the pre-christian times in the slavic regions, where the lime tree (Lipa) symbolized peace and general welfare of the times and the oak tree, on the other hand, (the tree dedicated to the thunder-god of war Perun) symbolized the times of war and the fight for the homeland.

Slavic people, being generally a peace loving folk, praised the lime tree and the peace times more than the war-times, making the "Lipa" slightly more popular as a Town-center than the oak.

An old south slavic verse:

"Cvjetokitna lipo, tebe u svoj srdi, Niti Perun žarkom strijelom ne nagrdi!"

"You lime tree rich with flowers, in your holy center,

Not even Perun can bring thunderbolts to enter


The linden is an excellent shade tree but in the spring it will form bracts by the thousands, which fall to the ground (or into anything that is beneath the tree). If a car is parked beneath and a window is left open, you'll find bracts inside the car. They can get into the engine compartment via the grille or windshield wiper channel. Musicwriter 23:44, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Tilia hybrids: T. x euchlora (T. dasystyla x T. platyphyllos)[edit]

Who can help me with some information? I am looking for a reference, that T. x euchlora is a hybrid of T. dasystyla and T. platyphyllos. Many thanks! Heike

Tilia x euchlora is of unknown origin, but widely cited as a hybrid between T. cordata and probably T. dasystyla (or T. dasystyla subsp. caucasica). See e.g. W. J. Bean Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles (8th ed.) 4: 596, or K. Rushforth Trees of Britain and Europe. - MPF 23:57, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Keeler on pubescens[edit]

Keeler's book mentions:

"Tilia pubescens, the Downy Linden, or Small-leaved Basswood, is a southern species which makes its way as far north as Long Island. It is a small tree, nowhere common, but found at its best in South Carolina. The leaves are usually two or three inches long; shoots and leaves and fruit covered with rusty down; the fruit bract rounded at the base, the flowers smaller and the nutlets more spherical than those of T. americana."

(SEWilco 05:07, 5 May 2007 (UTC))

Keeler on europaea[edit]

Keeler's book mentions:

"Tilia europaea, the European linden, is distinguished from the American lindens by its smaller and more regularly heart-shaped leaves. Although the second midrib is present the leaf often becomes scarcely unilateral. The flowers are destitute of the petal-like scale among the stamens, which is so marked a characteristic of all American lindens, and the leaves are a little darker than those of our native species."

(SEWilco 05:12, 5 May 2007 (UTC))

Mythology section[edit]

I am not much of an editor so I am hoping someone else can make this change but Freya was not the wife of Thor. Thanks to whomever and my sincere appreciation for all the people that are more proficient at Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:28, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Other Literary References section[edit]

Tolkien might be added here as he certainly would have been aware of the etymology of "linden" and the Germanic associations of the tree and word, particularly dancing under the linden tree. He associates Luthien's dance for Beren with the linden tree, describing it in the poem "Light as Leaf on Linden Tree", a version of which Aragorn recites for the hobbits under Weathertop in "Fellowship of the King". See Tom Shippey, The Road to Middle-Earth, revised and expanded, 2003, p. 257

Cpgray (talk) 14:12, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Some side information about lime tree[edit]

  • European hit, of 2004, sung by a romanian pop group O-ZONE was entitled Dragostea din tei (Love under a lime tree)
  • in Polish, the word lime means (apart from Tilia) also a hoax - of course in the informal use. Kicior99 (talk) 10:16, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I would like to add the song "Lime Tree" by Trevor Hall. The chorus goes: "Took awhile for you to find me. But I was hiding in the lime tree. Above the city in a rain cloud. Poked a hole and watched it drain out" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:100E:B007:65C4:225:FF:FE3D:9DAB (talk) 04:48, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Use of Elm or Lime Tree for Attus[edit]

Is it elm tree or tilia which is used for traditional Ainu clothing? -- (talk) 13:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


I’d like to know, and see in the article perhaps, how “basswood” is pronounced: bass as in the fish or bass as in the instrument (or vocal/instrumental range). Thanks. — (talk) 19:25, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Another use of basswood[edit]

Basswood is the premier wood used by miniaturists, particularly in making furniture or tiny duplicates of wooden artifacts. I didn't add this because I don't think it's important but it might be mentioned in the section on uses. Since the advent of the Inet, the miniature community has grown exponentially and basswood has become very popular. Tredzwater (talk) 22:11, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Distinctive floral odour[edit]

I find it unusual that the article does not mention the distinctive odour. Essentially it is well known that linden trees smell of come. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:14, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Likewise. I just went to Turkey and the smell was everywhere! But I suspect Mitchell and Webb made a mistake, and they actually meant the Callery Pear. I can only find references to the Linden tree smelling nice: [1], [2]. (talk) 23:54, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Bad photo[edit]

I just wanted to make everyone aware who is responsible for editing and managing this page that the picture of autumn foliage in the Ekoparken in Sweden at the bottom of the page is not in fact, a Tilia tree or grove at all. Those splendid colors are the leaves of European Beech, Fagus Sylvatica. Please remove the media for accuracy's sake. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I removed the photo. Thanks for your input! Since anyone who wants to can be responsible for editing this page, you should feel free to remove photos, or add photos, or make any other changes you think appropriate. If you have questions about how to do anything, you can ask me by clicking on the "talk" link after my name and I would be happy to help. Tdslk (talk) 17:21, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Article split[edit]

An article on a botanical subject should look like this. Cupressaceae, Mahogany, Spruce. Lime tree in culture contains the information not related to tree species. WP:Trivia descourage the addition of material not related to article. Read also the Template:In popular culture and WP:Popular culture. Hafspajen (talk) 21:49, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Leaf shape[edit]

"The leaves of all the Tilia species are heart-shaped" - yet the photo beside this statement shows a leaf that has no indentation at its base. This is not what I would call heart-shaped. How about aristate or deltoid? Kdammers (talk) 22:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)