The European Linden tree, also known as Tilia x europaea and the common lime tree, is a deciduous plant that is part of the Tiliaceae family. The trees originate in Europe, as the name indicates, although they are commonly cultivated throughout the United States. The European Linden tree is especially common in the Netherlands.
European Linden trees tend to be smaller in size than the American Linden tree. The trees can grow to be 70 feet in height. Its leaves appear in two separate rows, and measure 2 to 4 inches in width and length. The leaves are shaped similar to hearts, and are rounded. Their tips are long and pointed. The stalks of the leaves are long. The leaves are deep green and hairless. The bark of the tree is gray and smooth, with hairless, brown twigs.
European Linden trees blossom around the beginning of June. The blossoms have a cream color, and possess a strong, sweet fragrance that is particularly attractive to honeybees.
The blossoms produce small clusters of tiny, light green berries that are approximately the same size as peas. This occurs around July. Some of the berries reach maturity and then fall off onto the ground. The berries are nut-like and tend to stay on the European Linden tree until late winter.
The European Linden tree has a vast array of uses. It produces honey, which is used to make many medicines and liqueurs. It also can be used to make Linden tea, an alternative-medicine remedy that some have claimed can help with reduction of fever, anxiety, sleeplessness, indigestion, cramps, flu and colds. The tree's charcoal is a beneficial absorbent. It can absorb toxins, and soothe digestive upsets, according to some in the alternative-medicine community.
European Linden trees can be cultivated in the majority of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s plant hardiness zones. The trees thrive on full sun and prefer damp, moist soils.