Large Leaved Lime
Tilia platyphyllos, the large-leaved lime or large-leaved linden, is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae (Tiliaceae). It is a deciduous tree, native to much of Europe, including locally in southwestern Great Britain, growing on lime-rich soils. The common names largeleaf linden and large-leaved linden are in standard use throughout the English-speaking world except in the British Isles, where it is known as large-leaved lime. The name “lime”, possibly a corruption of “line” originally from “lind”, has been in use for centuries and also attaches to other species of Tilia. It is not, however, closely related to the lime fruit tree, a species of citrus.
The specific epithet platyphyllos means “with broad leaves”.
Tilia platyphyllos is a narrowly domed tree with a moderate growth rate, and can eventually attain a height of 40 m. The reddish-brown young stems later develop dark grey bark with fine fissures and furrows. The branches spread upwards at wide angles. The twigs are reddish-green and slightly pubescent.
The foliage consists of simple, alternately arranged leaves. As indicated by its common name, this tree has larger leaves than the related Tilia cordata (small-leaved lime), 6 to 9 cm (exceptionally 15 cm). They are ovate to cordate, mid to dark green above and below, with white downy hair on the underside, particularly along the veins, tapering into a mucronate tip. The margin is sharply serrate, and the base cordate; the venation is pinnate along a midrib. The pubescent petiole is usually 3–4 cm long, but can vary between 1.5–5 cm. The autumn foliage is yellow-green to yellow.
The small, fragrant, yellowish-white flowers are arranged in drooping, cymose clusters in groups of 3 to 4. Their whitish-green, leaf-like bracts have an oblong-obovate shape. The geniculate peduncles are between 1.5–3 cm long. The hermaphroditic flowers have 5 sepals and 5 tepals, numerous stamens, but no staminodes. The superior ovary is 2–10 locular with one smooth style. The flowers are pollinated by butts. The fruit is a fat, round, tomentose, cream-colored nutlet with a diameter of 1 cm or less. It has a woody shell with 3–5 ridges.