Tilia tomentosa
Common Name: silver linden 
Type: Tree
Family: Malvaceae
Native Range: Southeast Europe to Asia Minor
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 50.00 to 70.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pale yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile, well-drained loams, but adapts to a wide range of soil conditions. Best drought resistance of any of the lindens. Good tolerance for urban conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tilia tomentosa, commonly called silver linden or European white linden, is native to Europe and Asia. It is noted for its attractive foliage, which is glossy green above and silvery-white below. The foliage flutters in the slightest breeze, showcasing the silver and green leaf colors. This is a medium to large deciduous tree, typically growing to 50-70’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with upright branching and a broad-columnar habit. Fragrant pale yellow flowers in drooping cymes appear in late spring to early summer (June-July). When a tree is in full bloom, bees often visit in such abundant numbers that humming can be heard many feet from the tree. Flowers are followed by small nutlets attached to narrow, bract-like, strap-shaped leafy wings (to 2.5” long). Nutlets ripen in late summer. Ovate, shiny, dark green leaves (to 4” long) with acuminate tips and serrate margins are densely covered beneath with silvery-white hairs. Fall color is an undistinguished pale green to pale yellow.

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 means covered with short, soft, woolly hairs in reference to the leaf undersides.

Lindens are usually called limes in Great Britain.


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


Shade, lawn tree or street tree.