Sunday, May 29, 2011

Plant of the Week: American Basswood (Tilia americana)

American Basswood (Tilia americana) Leaves

Basswood (sometimes called Linden) is a tree found in our swamps, but it's also happy on our uplands.  The seeds are dispersed on a unique structure that catches the wind. 
The tree is also a valued street tree, as is its European cousins and hybrids.  The honey made from the flowers of basswood is considered excellent.  Native Americans and pioneers used the inner bark to make rope.  Basswood is prized for its soft clear wood by wood carvers and almost no one else, therefore it ends up in pallets, excelsior, interior furniture parts, etc.

More on American Basswood 

Young American Basswood Bark

Old Basswood Bark


  1. We have a basswood in my backyard. It seems to grow 2-3 feet each year. We like it as it provides great shade and a work out to clean it's droppings 3 times a year. (branches, fruit, leaves)

  2. My neighbor has a basswood, and it is easily the most beautiful on the block. The fruit are pretty neat looking, and surprising difficult to germinate.