Tilia platyphyllos
Common Name: broad-leaved linden
Type: Tree
Family: Malvaceae
Native Range: Europe to southwest Asia
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 60.00 to 80.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Pale yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile, well-drained loams, but adapts to a wide range of soil conditions. Good tolerance for urban conditions. Tolerant of heavy pruning, and may be grown as a hedge.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tilia platyphyllos is commonly called bigleaf linden. As the common name suggests, it is noted for its big leaves (leaves are larger than those of littleleaf linden). Bigleaf linden may be distinguished from other lindens by its pubescent stems and leaves, although the amount of pubescence may vary considerably from dense on some plants to nearly absent on oithers. Native to Europe and southwestern Asia, this is a medium to large deciduous tree, typically growing to 60-80’ (less frequently to 120') tall. It features fragrant pale yellow flowers in pendant cymes in late spring, small nutlets with attached leafy wings (to 5” long) and round-ovate, medium to dark green leaves (to 5" long) with acuminate tips, serrate margins, cordate bases and pubescent undersides. Fragrant, creamy yellow flowers in drooping cymes appear in June. Bees are attracted to the flowers. Flowers give way to nutlets that ripen in late summer. Fall color is an undistinguished pale green to pale yellow. Big leaf linden will hybridize with little leaf linden to form Tilia x europaea.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the linden or lime tree, known in southern Sweden as linn and the origin of the name Linnaeus.

Specific epithet is from Greek playts meaning broad and phyllon meaning leaf in reference to the large leaves.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Verticillium wilt is infrequent, but can be fatal. Powdery mildew, leaf spots, sooty mold and canker may occur. Insect visitors include borers, scale, leaf miner, lace bugs, caterpillars, aphids and Japanese beetles. Spider mites can be troublesome, particularly in hot, dry periods.

Garden Uses

Shade, lawn tree or street tree. Prune for use as large hedge or screen.