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Tilia platyphyllos - Scop.                
                 
Common Name Large Leaved Lime
Family Tiliaceae
Synonyms T. grandifolia. T. officinarum. pro parte.
Known Hazards If the flowers used for making tea are too old, they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication[4].
Habitats Woods on good calcareous or base rich soils[17].
Range Europe, from Britain and Belgium south and east to Spain, Crimea, Caucasus and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Tilia platyphyllos is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : 5-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Tilia platyphyllos Large Leaved Lime


Tilia platyphyllos Large Leaved Lime
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Sap.
Edible Uses: Chocolate;  Tea.

Young leaves - raw. A delicious addition to salads and sandwiches, the young leaves are mild and tender with a somewhat mucilaginous texture[K]. A very acceptable chocolate substitute can be made from a paste of the ground-up flowers and immature fruit. Trials on marketing the product failed because the paste is very apt to decompose[2, 115]. A popular herb tea is made from the flowers, it has a sweet, fragrant pleasant flavour. Some caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity. Sap - harvested in the spring, it is sweet and can be used as a drink or concentrated into a syrup[4].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antispasmodic;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Hypotensive;  Laxative;  Sedative.

Lime flowers are a popular domestic remedy for a number of ailments, especially in the treatment of colds and other ailments where sweating is desirable[9]. A tea made from the fresh or dried flowers is antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, hypotensive, laxative and sedative[4, 9, 13, 226, 238]. Lime flower tea is also used internally in the treatment of indigestion, hypertension, hardening of the arteries, hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation[4, 238]. The flowers are harvested commercially and often sold in health shops etc[226]. Lime flowers are said to develop narcotic properties as they age and so they should only be harvested when freshly opened[238]. A charcoal made from the wood is used in the treatment of gastric or dyspeptic disturbances and is also made into a powder then applied to burns or sore places[4]. It is also quite an effective vasodilator[7].
Other Uses
Charcoal;  Fibre;  Paper;  Wood.

A fibre from the inner bark is used to make mats, shoes, baskets, ropes etc[1, 13, 14, 46, 61, 100]. It is also suitable for cloth[115]. It is harvested from trunks that are 15 - 30cm in diameter[115]. The fibre can also be used for making paper[189]. The stems are harvested in spring or summer, the leaves are removed and the stems steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The outer bark is removed from the inner bark by peeling or scraping. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill. The paper is beige in colour[189]. Wood - soft, white, easily carved. It is very suitable for carving domestic items and small non-durable items[4, 13, 46, 61, 115]. A charcoal made from the wood is used for drawing and has medicinal properties[7, 46, 61, 115].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a good moist loamy alkaline to neutral soil but succeeds on slightly acid soils[11, 200]. Grows poorly on any very dry or very wet soils[200]. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[188]. Plants can be transplanted quite easily, even when quite large, trees up to 60 years old have been moved successfully[1, 74]. Lime trees are very long-lived[7] and are amenable to coppicing or pollarding. This species does not produce many suckers[98, 200]. Grows well in Britain, it is the only species that reliably produces viable seed in areas with cool summers[200]. Lime trees tend to hybridise freely if other members of the genus are growing nearby[238]. If growing plants from seed it is important to ensure the seed came from a wild source or from an isolated clump of the single species[K]. Grows best in a woodland situation, young plants tolerate a reasonable level of side shade[200]. Mature trees cast a dense shade[186]. A very valuable bee plant, producing an abundance of nectar[7, 11, 125]. A valuable tree for wildlife, there are 31 species of insects associated with this tree[24]. A food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly and moth species[30]. Trees are usually attacked by aphids which cover the ground and the leaves with a sticky honeydew[188]. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[188]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - much of the seed produced in Britain is not viable, cut a few seedcases open to see if there is a seed inside[80]. If possible, obtain fresh seed that is ripe but has not as yet developed a hard seed coat and sow it immediately in a cold frame. It may germinate in the following spring though it could take 18 months[80]. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate. It has a hard seed coat, embryo dormancy and a hard coat on the pericarp. All these factors mean that the seed may take up to 8 years to germinate[80]. One way of shortening this time is to stratify the seed for 5 months at high temperatures (10°c at night, up to 30°c by day) and then 5 months cold stratification[80]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Layering in spring just before the leaves unfurl. Takes 1 - 3 years[78]. Suckers, when formed, can be removed with as much root as possible during the dormant season and replanted immediately[200].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Scop.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1117200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[13]Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
[14]Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs.
A good herbal.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[24]Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden.
Fairly good with lots of ideas about creating wildlife areas in the garden.
[30]Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[74]Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR.
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[98]Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs.
Very comprehensive guide to growing trees and shrubs from seed. Not for the casual reader.
[100]Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
[115]Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain.
Written about a hundred years ago, but still a very good guide to the useful plants of Britain.
[125]? The Plantsman. Vol. 5. 1983 - 1984.
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants..
[186]Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs.
An excellent guide to native British trees and shrubs with lots of details about the plants.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[189]Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking.
A good practical section on how to make paper on a small scale plus details of about 75 species (quite a few of them tropical) that can be used.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[226]Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada
Very good on identification for non-experts, the book also has a lot of information on plant uses.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.

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