Small leaved Lime (Tilia cordata)

Small Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) - occasionally referred to as the Small-leaved Linden - is a native to much of Europe and western Asia.

  • Small Leave Lime  -  Tilia Cordata  -  Leaves
  • Small Leave Lime  -  Tilia Cordata  -  Mature Trees

Useful info about Small Leaved Lime trees

Latin NameTilia cordata
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 20+ metres (65+ feet)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 15 - 20 metres (50 - 65 feet)
Soil Types PreferredChalk, Clay, Limestone
Locations SuitableFarmland, Gardens, Parks
FlowersYellow flowers in summer


Small Leaved Lime is a deciduous tree growing to 20-38 m tall, with a trunk up to 1-2 m diameter.

The leaves are alternately arranged, rounded to triangular-ovate, 3-8 cm long and broad, mostly hairless except for small tufts of brown hair in the leaf vein axils.

The small yellow-green hermaphrodite flowers, produced in clusters of five to eleven in early summer, have a rich, heavy scent.

The trees are often visited by bees. The fruit is a dry nut-like drupe 6–7 mm long and 4 mm broad, downy at first, but becoming smooth at maturity.

It is the national tree of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia.

Tilia cordata is widely grown as an ornamental tree throughout its native range in Europe. It was planted to form avenues in 17th and early 18th century landscape planning. A famous example is Unter den Linden in Berlin.

It is also widely cultivated in North America as a substitute for the native Tilia americana (Basswood or American Linden) which has a larger leaf, coarser in texture. There it has been renamed "Little-leaf Linden".


In the countries of Central Europe, linden flowers are a traditional herbal remedy (linden flower tea), considered to be of value as an anti-inflammatory in a range of respiratory problems: colds, fever, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, cough and others.

A valuable monofloral honey is produced by bees using the trees. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad vegetable.

The white, finely-grained wood is a classic choice for refined woodcarvings such as those by Grinling Gibbons or several prominent medieval altars.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

Lime trees had significance in many cultures and were considered to be symbols of fertility and justice.

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