Large-leaved Lime

©Andreas Balzer

Large-leaved lime

Scientific name: Tilia platyphyllos
A scarce tree of England and Wales, the Large-leaved lime is the rarest of our native limes. It is tall and broad, and can be found in forests and parks, where it is frequently planted.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 35m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The Large-leaved lime is a tall, broad tree of forests and parkland where it was often planted. It is a scarce wild plant in the UK and can be found in patches across England and Wales. Its flowers attract a huge number of insects looking for nectar, while its leaves are popular with caterpillars of the Lime hawk moth, among other species. It produces large-winged, nut-like fruits that disperse its seeds by the wind.

How to identify

The Large-leaved lime has heart-shaped, furry leaves; yellow-green, five-petalled flowers; and small, oval fruits with pointed tips. The three lime trees of the UK are difficult to tell apart. The Large-leaved lime lives up to its name: it has larger leaves than the Small-leaved lime, and never grows twiggy suckers like the Common lime.

Distribution

Found in England and Wales.

Did you know?

The wood of the Large-leaved lime is hard and doesn't splinter when it is hit, so it was used to make the poles of morris dancers!

How people can help

Our native tree species provide important links in the food chain for many animals, as well as areas for shelter and nesting. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species throughout the food chain, so look after many nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from coppicing to craft-making, stockwatching to surveying.