||The limes or lindens are wonderful trees that grace many of the finest avenues in the temperate zones. Once thought to be a genus of many species, Tilia has been revised down to just 45 species of deciduous trees. They occur in eastern and central North America, Europe and most of temperate Asia. They are upright single-trunked trees with a rounded to conical crown of foliage. The bark is silver-gray and smooth; with great age it becomes fissured. The leaf shape is usually oval to heart-shaped with serrated edges, tapering to a fine point. The foliage is usually a mid-green shade and of quite a light texture; in autumn it often develops vibrant yellow tones. Small, cream, scented, separate male and female flowers with large bracts occur in small clusters from late spring and are very attractive to bees. The flowers are followed by conspicuous pale green fruits.
||CULTIVATION: These very hardy trees prefer a temperate climate with 4 distinct seasons. They thrive in deep well-drained soil and should be given plenty of moisture in summer. Young trees should be trimmed to shape, pruning otherwise being confined to thinning and general maintenance. Suitable for cultivation as specimen trees or for growing in groups, some species are grown for their timber, which is known as basswood. Trees may be propagated from the copiously produced seed, which needs stratification; from cuttings or layers; or, for special forms, by grafting.