American Basswood

Tilia americana

American Basswood: Full Tree - Click for larger image
  • Family: Tiliaceae

  • Large tree, long trunk; often 2 or more trunks

  • Dense crown with drooping branches

    • Height between 18-30m (60-100’)

    Leaves
    Twigs & Fruiting Structures
    Bark
    Distribution and Uses

    Leaves

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    American Basswood: Leaves - Click for larger image
    American Basswood: Buds - Click for larger image

    Twigs & Fruiting Structures

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    American Basswood: Bract - Click here for larger image
    • Leafy, green bracts in early summer

    • Fragrant flowers with 5 yellowish-white petals; hang in long-stalked clusters; hairless flower stalks

    • Grey, hard, elliptical or rounded fruit 10mm (3/8”) in length, with fine hairs

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    Bark

    • Smooth on upper parts of tree; dark grey, furrowed into narrow scaly ridges

    • Fibrous inner bark

    Distribution & Uses

    • Prefers moist, fertile soils in valleys and uplands; sometimes in hardwood forests

    • Distribution includes Minnesota down to Missouri and east to Maine; also parts of Manitoba and New Brunswick

    • Planted for shade; when flowers in bloom, tree attracts bees, produces strong flavored honey; wood used for furniture, yardsticks, food boxes

    • Indians used inner bark for ropes, woven mats

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    American Basswood: Bark - Click for larger image