Littleleaf Linden
Tilia cordata

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tilia (TIL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: cordata (kor-DAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Tilia parvifolia




over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Manteca, California

Hinsdale, Illinois

Woodstock, Illinois

Lawrence, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Los Lunas, New Mexico

Bend, Oregon

Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

Orem, Utah

Ames Lake, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 6, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This adaptable and pollution-tolerant species is commonly planted as a shade tree.

The June flowers are not showy but perfume the air for about two weeks, and are very attractive to honeybees and other pollinators. The French traditionally use them dried as an herbal tea. The pollen is moderately allergenic.

This tree is easy to shape and takes well to shearing and pollarding. For centuries, it has been popular in Europe for estates, parks, and allees, and also commonly used there as a hedge.

In Europe, mature trees can reach 80-90'. I rarely see it reach half that here in Massachusetts.

This tree is commonly afflicted with a species of aphid, which excretes a rain of sticky honeydew on everything below, including benches and wi... read more


On Jul 17, 2009, louisegray from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

This is a beautiful tree because it reflects all of the seasons with their various changes. However, it is a demanding tree if you have it on or near your property. It releases sap during the summer months and leaves a sticky veil upon anything underneath. During the early spring, there are droppings from the tree which I call, for lack of a better word, grape nuts. These will cling to your shoes and deposit in your entry way. During the fall, there are little droppings, as well. The fragrance of the blossoms in the spring is lovely and sublime, but this tree is high maintenance if there is one near you. Our city has planted many of them at the curbside and one is on our property. So we must take the good along with the bad.


On Oct 27, 2005, Sarahskeeper from Brockton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

A fairly dense tree with small leaves that turn yellow in fall. The indiscreet pale yellow/white flowers in early summer have an intoxicating fragrance for about a week. A magnet for bees of all types.
The branching structure near the trunk can look impressive with heavy buttressing.
A sturdy tree that needs little care, an occasional thinning of branches to prevent rubbing is all it needs.
Can grow quite tall. A nice lawn tree that allows the grass to grow well beneath when lower branches are trimmed to 6 or more feet above the ground. Some minor shallow root exposure is rarely a problem.
Andy P