Monday, October 8, 2018
American Basswood - Tilia americana
The American Basswood - Tilia americana, is most easily recognized by the combination of alternate, two ranked, and heart shaped leaves that are asymmetric at the base and the leafy bract subtending the flowers and fruit. It is a deciduous tree that reaches heights of 60-100 feet tall that grows in an erect form with a single trunk. The crown of the American Basswood is ovoid or rounded with numerous slender branches.
Image Citation: Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org
The bark of the American Basswood is smooth and dark gray when young, becoming furrowed with vertical ridges. The leaves are alternate, simple, 2 ranked, ovate, heart shaped and ovate at the base. The upper surface of the leaves are a dark yellowish green, hairless with conspicuous veins, while the lower leaf surface is a paler green color and lightly haired. The blades of the leaves are 12-15 cm long and 7-10 cm wide. The flowers are yellowish white with 5 sepals, 5 petals and inflorescence. The fruit is a rounded thick-shelled gray nut that is about 6 mm broad, maturing in Autumn.
The American Basswood is native to the rich and deciduous woods of North America, it is widespread in the East from New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in the North to Central Florida and Texas in the South.
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