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Tilia cordata
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

small-leaved lime

A broadly columnar, deciduous tree to about 25m tall, with a spreading or rounded crown, and glossy dark green, heart-shaped leaves to 8cm in length, turning yellow in autumn. Small, fragrant pale creamy-yellow flowers are borne in spreading clusters of up to 10 flowers in midsummer

Other common names
little-leaf linden
Synonyms
Tilia parvifolia
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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Sand
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral, Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Blue
Summer Yellow Green Blue
Autumn Yellow
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Malvaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Genus

Tilia are deciduous trees with broadly ovate or heart-shaped leaves and pendulous clusters of fragrant yellow-green flowers, followed by conspicuous winged fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Suitable for parks and very large gardens. Grow in moist but well-drained soil in full sun or part shade, with shelter from cold winds. For more advice see tree cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed, stratified in containers outdoors in spring. See propagate from seed (tree/shrub) Propagate by chip budding although care must be taken with the choice of rootstock

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1; a suitable tree for coppicing, pleaching and pollarding

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, horse chestnut scale, caterpillars, sawflies and gall mites

Diseases

May be susceptible to sooty mould, phytophthora root rot and honey fungus

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