Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

One vendor has this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


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

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There are a total of 15 photos.
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1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous 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 windshields. The fallen honeydew usually turns black with sooty mold. Systemic insecticides can be used to control the insects but also take a toll on honeybees and other pollinators. This is the only linden (out of about 30 species) that's afflicted by the aphid and has the honeydew/black mold problem.

This species also commonly produces tremendous numbers of suckers from the base of the trunk, requiring frequent maintenance and eventually producing large disfiguring burls. It is the only linden species that suckers so readily.

This is one of the most commonly planted street trees in the northeast. I see many here that are stunted and half-dead. Perhaps it's the stingy tree pits they're given.

According to Dirr, this species suffers in the hot summers of southeastern US. It does better there with protection from afternoon sun. It rarely prospers south of Z7.

There are many cultivars. To my eye, they're all much alike.

Neutral louisegray 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.

Positive Sarahskeeper 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


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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