American Linden

Tilia americana Malvaceae

Other names

Basswood, White-Wood

Growth habit


Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region, Canada to VA and AL, West to ND, KS and TX


Dry to moist, but not wet. Adaptable to different soil types, but prefers calcareous soils.


Collect seeds in October when they are dry and brown. Sow in deep containers. Protect from rodents and squirrels. Germination may take two years.

Biocultural value

Leaves, bark, branches, and roots have uses. A poultice made from leaves is applied to burns, scalds, swellings, and broken bones. A stimulating tonic has been made with an infusion of shoots. A strengthening tonic is made with twigs and roots, or combined with other plants for birthing. A strong tea of the roots and bark has been consumed for internal bleeding. A bark tea has been used to increase urination.

Wildlife value

The abundant, fragrant flowers are important for pollinators. They also produce a wonderful honey and, dried, make a delicious and very fragrant herbal tea.


Urban Tree Collection, Mundy Wildflower Garden, Purvis Road Wetlands Natural Area

Source of plant

John Ewanicki, Schichtel's Nursery


Tall stately tree reaching 60' to 80' (to 100') in height with a spread equal to 1/2 or 2/3's of the height. Branches numerous, slender, low-hung; habit pyramidal in youth, at maturity the lower branchesdrooping down and then up, forming a deep, ovate, oblong or somewhat rounded crown. Fall color paleyellow or yellow-green. Flowers perfect, pale yellow, 3/5" wide, fragrant, borne in 5- to 10-flowered, 2" to3" wide pendulous cymes in mid to late June.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

fragrance, bee plant