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Environmental Studies

Tilia americana (Basswood) Tiliaceae

  •  Tilia american also known as Basswood 

    Physical characteristics

    Leaf: The upper leaves are much smaller than the lower leaves and  are alternate, ovate leaves that are about as wide as long, with a flattened or heart-shaped base, finely serrated margins, and a short tip at the apex of the leaf. 

    Flower | Seeds: The flower perfect, small, creamy flowers that open in early summer. These are noted for both their fragrance and for their nectar, which is a favorite of bees in the production of honey.  Flowers of American basswood mature into rounded fruits that ripen by late summer, with the showy persistent bracts changing to golden yellow in autumn, then beige in winter. Fruits either abscise or are eaten by wildlife in autumn.

    Trunk | Bark: Young bark is smooth and a shiny light gray, whereas mature wood is lightly fissured and medium gray to brown, with darker furrows. Ridges are usually flattened and either straight vertical or interlacing, and often brightly reflect the winter sunlight.

     

      

     Page drafted by Donald A. Stanley