American Basswood

Tilia americana

Family Tiliaceae

Notable Features
Leaves: Leaves large, 5 to 10 inches (12-24 centimeters), alternate*, finely toothed*, heart-shaped, asymmetrical at the base, and hairless.
Twigs/ Buds: Twigs range in color from green to bright red. End bud false*, all other buds have three visible scales.
Bark: Mature outer bark lightly grooved and dark grey, yet upper branches a lighter grey and more smooth. Inner bark more fibrous.
Flowers/ Fruit: Clusters of yellowish flowers dangle from the center of a modifed leaf, appear June through August. Flowers turn into a small “nutlet” which remain attached to the modified leaf-wing.
Size/ Shape: A large tree, 50 to 80 feet (15-24 meters) in height, and 2 to 3 feet (½-1 meter) in diameter when mature.

Location on Campus

(click for map)

On the lawns near the front of campus, on the left side of the road and up the hill a bit, as you approach Rosenstiel. Outside Ziv 130, near front entrance.

Leaf buds can be added to salads for flavor or eaten right off of the tree. Dried flowers can be collected, dried, and used to make a mild tea.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.