The Small-leaved lime or Tilia Cordata is a tree of Caucasian and European origin. This elegant tree is highly valued for its ornamental qualities, as well as for the many benefits of its flowers. It blooms in July, with highly fragrant yellow flowers, which are used to make herbal teas with many benefits. The flowers, which are very melliferous, are also a source of delight for bees, which use the nectar to make a delicious lime honey.
The Small-leaved lime is easy to grow and hardy (-24°C): it prefers to be planted in neutral to alkaline, well-drained soil, in a sunny or semi-shaded area. It is a long-lived tree (up to 500 years): it is on average 10 metres tall at 20 years of age, and up to 30 metres tall at maturity, with a spread of 7 metres. Tillia cordata has a graceful, spreading habit, its deciduous foliage consists of long petioles, which bear small leaves of 3 to 8 cm, heart-shaped and slightly toothed, frank green on the surface and glaucous green on the reverse.
The Small-leaved lime is hardy and low-maintenance: it can be pruned to shape its silhouette, ideally at the end of winter or in the autumn. Like most young trees, it requires tutoring and copious watering in the first year to facilitate its root development. Once well established, it is very self-sufficient, resistant to pollution and requires little water, even in times of drought.
Harvesting the flowers:
Harvest the lime blossoms at the end of June or beginning of July, depending on the region, at the very beginning of flowering, when there are still some closed buds. Do not miss this time, as the harvesting period lasts only 2 to 3 days, after the flowering is too far advanced.
Pick the flower without forgetting its bract.
Spread the flowers out on a clean cloth and dry them for a fortnight, but be careful, the room must be well ventilated and dry, or they can be dried outside in a protected area, weather permitting.
Once dry, lime flowers can be kept for up to a year. (Until the next harvest).
To make a delicious herbal tea, simply add 1 litre of boiling water to the equivalent of 20 dried lime blossoms (or 4 level tablespoons of chopped blossoms) and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
If you wish to drink your tea very sweet it is advisable to use lime honey for a more pronounced floral flavour.
(Use preferably spring water).
- Common name : Small-leaved lime
- Family : Tiliaceae
- Category : tree
- Spread : 7 m
- Foliage : deciduous
- Color of flowers : yellow
- Use : Isolated - alignment
- Soil : Well-drained and acid tolerated - neutral to alkaline
- Habit : Columnar
- Earth to use : universal potting soil/garden soil/compost
- Enemies : Cochineal - aphid
- Possible diseases : Armillary - gale - phytophthora
- legal information : Unfortunately, we are prohibited from publishing the indications and properties of plants, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament.
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