Tilia mongolica Maxim.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Tilia mongolica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/tilia/tilia-mongolica/). Accessed 2019-12-09.

Genus

Common Names

  • Mongolian Lime

Glossary

dbh
Diameter (of trunk) at breast height. Breast height is defined as 4.5 feet (1.37 m) above the ground.
abaxial
(especially of surface of a leaf) Lower; facing away from the axis. (Cf. adaxial.)

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Tilia mongolica' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/tilia/tilia-mongolica/). Accessed 2019-12-09.

Tree to 25 m. Bark grey, shallowly fissured after about 40 years. Twigs slender (1.7–2.5 mm thick), red in sun, glabrous. Buds usually with two exposed scales, smooth and hairless. Leaves 3.5–6.5 × 3.5-6 cm, deltoid; variably and jaggedly toothed and sometimes lobed; green beneath with small axillary tufts of red-brown hair. Floral bracts 3.5–7 × 0.5–1.5 cm, on long stalks (0.8–1.9 cm). Inflorescences held erect above the leaves; cymes branched 1–5 times, with 5–38 flowers. Staminodes present. Fruit 6–7 × 4–5 mm; surface smooth, with a very short brown tomentum; wall leathery, easily crushed (Pigott 2012, Flora of China 2018).

Distribution  China Hebei, Henan, W Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shanxi North Korea Recorded from one site only

Habitat Woodlands

USDA Hardiness Zone 3

RHS Hardiness Rating H7

The vine-leaved form typical in cultivation makes Tilia mongolica one of the most recognisable of limes, though this leaf-form does occur rarely in other species, including in the closely-related T. cordata (the only other lime whose flower-heads stand above the foliage) and in T. amurensis subsp. taquetii from further north in eastern Asia (Pigott 2012); some wild populations of T. mongolica have heart-shaped, regularly serrated leaves. The species was introduced to the Jardin des Plants in Paris in 1880 by Emil Bretschneider, from where it reached Kew in 1904; William Purdom also introduced it to Veitch and Sons in Surrey from near Beijing in 1913 (Bean 1914).

The Mongolian Lime is a pretty tree with dainty foliage which turns yellow in autumn, showy flowers and often a good habit; it grows well all across Britain, reaching 22 m × 67 cm dbh at Thorp Perrow in North Yorkshire in 2014 (a tree within the Lime Avenue planted in 1936). A tree accessioned in the same year in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, grafted at the base, was 16 m × 59 cm dbh in 2014 (Tree Register 2018). A tree planted in the Zuiderpark, Den Haag, Netherlands around 1926 was 17 m x 67 cm dbh in 2014, but has an ugly, high graft; another in the Bonn Botanic Garden was 16 m x 39 cm dbh in 2012 (monumentaltrees.com 2018). The oldest street trees seen by the author are two probably dating from the 1960s in Shenfield Crescent, Essex, and the species is now quite widely sold in Britain at a tall standard size suitable for street planting.


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