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Common Name: Silver Lime
Tilia tomentosa is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 25.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
The flowers are toxic to bumble bees[
Oak and mixed woods[
Prefers a good moist loamy alkaline to neutral soil but succeeds on slightly acid soils[
]. Grows poorly on any very dry or very wet soil[
]. According to another report this species succeeds in a hot dry position. Dislikes exposed positions[
]. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[
This species thrives in southern England[
], though it prefers a continental climate, growing more slowly and not producing fertile seed in areas with cool summers[
Lime trees tend to hybridise freely if other members of the genus are growing nearby[
]. 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[
Grows best in a woodland situation, young plants tolerate a reasonable level of side shade[
The fragrant flowers of this tree are toxic to bees[
Trees are usually attacked by aphids which cover the ground and the leaves with a sticky honeydew[
Rarely produces suckers.
Quite tolerant of root disturbance, semi-mature trees up to 5 metres tall have been transplanted successfully.
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Young leaves - raw or cooked[
The dried leaves are sometimes used as an adulterant for marjoram (Origanum majorana)[
A tea can be made from the flowers.
A very good chocolate substitute is made from a paste of the ground fruits and flowers[
]. Trials on marketing the product failed because the paste decomposes readily[
A tea made from the flowers is antispasmodic, diaphoretic and sedative[
A fibre is obtained from the tough inner bark It can be made into diverse items such as mats, shoes and coarse cloth[
Seed - much of the seed produced in Britain is not viable, cut a few seedcases open to see if there is a seed inside[
]. 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[
]. 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[
]. 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[
]. 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[
Suckers, when formed, can be removed with as much root as possible during the dormant season and replanted immediately[