A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Tilia mongolica Maxim.

Mongolian Lime

Modern name

Tilia mongolica Maxim.

A tree up to 60 ft high in cultivation; young branchlets glabrous, reddish by autumn. Leaves tinted red when young, 112 to 3 in. long, ovate to broadly so, acuminate, truncate to cordate at the base, coarsely toothed, the teeth triangular, with slender points, sometimes (especially on young trees) three- or five-lobed, dark green and glossy above, pale beneath and glabrous except for tufts of down in the vein-axils; petiole about 1 in. long, reddish. Flowers produced in late July, often numerous (sometimes thirty or more) in the cyme; floral bract stalked, 2 to 3 in. long, 12 in. wide. Fruits obovoid to roundish, downy, thick-shelled.

Native of N. China and the Russian Far East; discovered by Father David in 1864 in the Pohuashan, west of Peking, but described from specimens collected by Przewalski in Outer Mongolia seven years later; introduced to the Jardin des Plantes at Paris in 1880 by Dr Bretschneider, and thence to Kew in 1904.

Unlike so many trees of continental northeast Asia, this lime grows and flowers well in this country, and is one of the most distinct in its leaves, recalling when unlobed those of a silver birch. It is one of the numerous Asiatic allies of T. cordata and flowers at about the same time.

The following examples have been recorded: Kew, pl. 1904, 47 × 414 ft (1967); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, pl. 1936, 41 × 3 ft (1970); Thorp Perrow, Yorks, 50 × 312 ft (1974); Wakehurst Place, Sussex, 62 × 4 ft + 314 ft and 60 × 3 ft (1974). The tree at Kew derives from the Bretschneider introduction, probably from the mountains west of Peking. But there was another introduction by William Purdom for Messrs Veitch in 1913, also from the Peking region.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Kew, in Lime Collection, 62 × 514 ft and 62 × 334 ft (1979); Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon, London, 20 × 134 ft (1985); Wakehurst Place, Sussex, 62 × 4 + 314 ft and 60 × 3 ft (1974); Hillier Arboretum, Ampfield, Hants, 31 × 2 ft (1983); Thorp Perrow, Bedale, Yorks., 64 × 414 ft (1981); Edinburgh Botanic Garden, pl. 1936, 52 × 4 ft (1985); Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, 52 × 4 ft (1985).



Other species in the genus