One of our native lime trees which are now fairly rare in this country found mainly on richer soils occurring as old coppice stools, often associated with oak and beech woodlands, and considered an indicator of ancient woodland.
A deciduous tree, tall in habit 30-35 metres, when young trees show conical shape becoming lofty untidy often with burrs.
Leaves are alternate, rounded heart shaped; buds have red scales with no terminal bud. Yellow flowers are produced in July, fragrant flowers are insect pollinated especially by bees. In good flowering seasons, the crown can take on a creamy yellow colour. Flowers have five sepals and petals, occurring in clusters suspended from a green bract, after fertilisation it is this bract that acts as an aid for wind dispersal.
Foliage is very important as a food source for many moth larvae species including the lime hawkmoth (Mimas tiliae). Lime foliage also attracts aphids which feed on the underside of leaves; in turn the insects are a food source themselves as well as the secretion being attractive to other insects. The foliage may also be galled by numerous mites; one notable one is Eriophyes tiliae commonly known as nail gall very often found in large numbers.
Small Leafed Lime Tree Tilia cordata - Tiliaceae
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