Botanist's Glossary

Small-leaved Lime - Tilia cordata

  • Description
    • The small-leaved lime (Tiliaceae family) is a tall tree with irregular heart-shaped leaves that have a bluish underside, with red hairs in the angles of the veins. It is the lime tree of the plains and hills, and is found in forests in much of France. The tree can live for centuries, and even for over a thousand years. By hybridizing with a related species (Tilia platyphyllos), the result was the common lime tree - or European linden.
  • Traditions
    • Softly fragrant lime tree (or linden) flowers have been used to make an evening infusion since at least the 18th century. In the past, the bark tended to be used (also exploited for its textile fiber - lime bast), or even the root. A nervous sedative, linden helps reduce stress and promote sleep for most people. The nectar-rich flowers yield a honey that retains their scent.
  • Properties
    • The scent of the lime flower is a perfect accord that reveals all its magic from its green, spicy head note to its sweet orange heart and honey base. Rich in mucilage, it has refreshing, emollient and softening properties. It is ideal for delicate and irritated skin or skin weakened by harsh external factors.