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Large-leaved Lime Tilia platyphyllos (Tiliaceae) HEIGHT to 40m. Tall and often narrow deciduous tree. Bole is normally free of suckers and shoots, distinguishing this species from Lime. BARK Dark-grey with fine fissures in older trees, which can sometimes be ridged. BRANCHES Mostly ascending but with slightly pendent tips. Twigs are reddish-green and sometimes slightly downy at tip, and ovoid buds, to 6mm long, are dark red and sometimes slightly downy. LEAVES To 9cm long, sometimes to 15cm long, broadly ovate, with a short tapering point and irregularly heart-shaped base. Margins are sharply toothed, upper surface is soft and dark green and lower surface is paler and sometimes slightly hairy. REPRODUCTIVE PARTS Yellowish-white flowers are borne in clusters of up to 6 on whitish-green, slightly downy bracts, usually opening in June. Hard, woody fruit is up to 1.8cm long, almost rounded or slightly pear-shaped with 3–5 ridges; a few remain on lower branches in winter. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION A native of lime-rich soils in Europe; in Britain it is native to central and S England and Wales, having been introduced elsewhere; it is often planted as a street tree.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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