This large forest tree fills the Midsummer air with delicious fragrance as tens of thousands of creamy yellow flowers attract insects from across a wide area to feast on its abundant nectar. The blossom is traditionally gathered by many people around Europe to prepare the famous Linden or Tilleul tea. If you look closely you can see the flowers have five petals, and scientifically the Lindens are known to be in the Mallow family, along with Wednesday’s plant!
The leaves create a dense, cool shade and when they first appear are bright green and fresh, but with Common Lime particularly, aphids feed on the leaves, exuding sugary sap on which sooty moulds then develop, blackening the leaves.
You will often also see bright red spiky growths called Nail Galls on the leaves which are made by mites, while a variety of moths make use of Lime as a larval food-plant, including the spectacular Lime Hawk-moth, Pale Tussock, Hebrew Character, Vapourer and Brindled Beauty.
In the Autumn Lime leaves are an ideal size for hedgehogs to use to make their hibernation nests.