|Silver Linden - Tilia tomentosa|
Family Tiliaceae - Basswoods, Lindens have fragrant tiny flowers that attract a gigantic panoply of pollinators including bees, beetles, flies, and butterflies.
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This Silver Linden is 67 years old 
Linden trees are an excellent choice for the street or shade trees. They are especially hardy, tolerant of alkaline soils, visited by few destructive insects and exhibit a natural, pyramidal shape that requires little pruning. They produce small, round, persistent fruits that are attached to leaf-like appendages. These trees have attractive, golden yellow fall color .
American basswood is an important timber tree, especially in the Great Lakes States. The soft, light wood has many uses in wood products. The tree is also well known as a honey-tree, and the seeds and twigs are eaten by wildlife. It is commonly planted as a shade tree in urban areas of the eastern states where it is called American linden.
Linden bracts and nutlets
The fragrant flowers of the Linden tree hang from the middle of leafy, ribbon-like green bracts in long-stalked clusters. The flowers are tiny, with 5 yellowish-white petals. During the last weeks of June and first weeks of July they exude a powerful, haunting scent that can be detected up to a mile away.
The flowers possess a nectar which attracts bees and produces a strong flavored honey. When this tree is in flower it will be full of bees, hence its common name "Bee Tree". During the three weeks that the Lindens bloom, bees forsake most other flowers. The honey that they make of Linden nectar is white in color, and highly regarded. The flowers when gathered and dried can be used to make tea. Linden flowers are used in the manufacture of perfumes.
When the flowers go to seed they form small nutlets that contain 1 or 2 seeds each, clustered beneath large leafy wing bracts which act as parachutes as they carry the seeds to the ground. The fruits are woody and about the size of peas. The leaves are heart-shaped, 2-3 inches long. Linden wood is soft and creamy, and it is much favored by woodcarvers because of its workability (it is said to "cut like cheese") and its even grain. In past centuries it was used to make ship's figureheads and cigar-store Indians. Today it is used for broom handles, beehive frames, piano sounding boards and certain parts of guitars.
1. Keith Rushforth, Charles Hollis, National Geographic Trees of North America "Silver Linden"
2. Morton Arboretum acc. 131-40-4 photos by Bruce Marlin
Family Tiliaceae - Basswoods, Lindens
50 genera and 400 species; widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, with relatively few species in temperate regions. Especially abundant in Southeast Asia and Brazil. The leaves of all the Tilias are heart-shaped and most are asymmetrical, and the tiny fruit, looking like peas, always hang attached to a ribbon-like, greenish bract.
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