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Tilia × europaea
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

common lime

A large, deciduous tree reaching over 30m. The asymmetric heart-shaped leaves are green turning yellow in autumn. Highly fragrant flowers in summer are cream-green but scarcely visible. In the winter, the young, bare twigs are red-bronze

Other common names
European basswood
European lime
see moreRussian bast tree
Synonyms
Tilia × vulgaris
Tilia × intermedia
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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
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green Cream Green
Autumn Yellow
Winter Bronze Red
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
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

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How to grow

Cultivation

Suitable for parks and very large gardens. Grow in fertile soil in full sun. Highly prone to suckering at the base of the trunk. For more advice see tree cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed. For more advice see propagate from seed (tree/shrub)

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

Pruning group 1 or is a suitable tree for pleaching

Pests

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

Diseases

May be susceptible to sooty mould and phytophthora root disease

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