Linden ID

View PDF
Authors
Published on

It’s Sunday night, I check my e-mail, and Frank Sinibaldi asks: “Mr. Chatfield, can you tell me what tree this comes from?”  I check out the attached image, and there it is: a linden bract with attached peduncle, pedicels and fruits.

 

  So, linden (Tilia spp.) is the tree. Common lindens are the American linden or basswood (Tilia americana), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) native to Europe and into Asia, and the hybrid Crimean linden Tilia x euchlora).  Lindens are much bee-beloved.

 

a silver linden tree
A lovely silver linden, Tilia tomentosum, with its leaves with silver undersiding

 

littleleaf lindens heavy with fruits
lindens heavy with fruit, especially on the left

 

  Note on Terms That Has Always Confused Me and That I Now Think I Get: The unusual strap-like bracts (modified leaves) are tell-tales for lindens. From these bracts arise the peduncle (the stalk of an overall inflorescence of flowers or of a single flower) and the pedicels (the stalk of a single flower in a florescence). The female portion of the flower then becomes the fruit and so the pedicels do double-duty as stalks for both flowers and fruits.

 

linden bracts and flowers
linden leaves, bracts, peduncles, pedicels, and flowers 

 

linden peduncle, pedicels, and fruits
linden peduncle, pedicels and fruits