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Tilia oliveri Szysz.

Modern name

Tilia oliveri Szyszył.


T. pendula V. Engler, not Rupr. & Maxim.

A tree up to 80 ft high in the wild; young shoots glabrous. Leaves 3 to 5 in. long, mostly somewhat less in width, abruptly taper-pointed, heart-shaped to almost truncate at the base, dark green and glabrous above, pure white beneath with a close white felt, axillary tufts absent, margins edged with rather fine and distant teeth; petiole 1 to 2 in. long. Flowers small, up to about twenty in each pendulous cyme; floral-bract sessile. Fruits thickshelled, downy, more or less warted, globose to ellipsoid or obovoid, slightly ribbed.

A native of Central China, common, according to Wilson, in the moist woods of northwestern Hupeh; discovered by Henry in 1888 and introduced by Wilson in 1900 for Messrs Veitch. It is one of the Chinese white limes, allied to T. tomentosa, which it resembles in its flowers, but they open earlier, at about the same time as T. cordata, the leaves are more finely and more distantly toothed, and the young growths are glabrous. It is an attractive tree, smaller than T. tomentosa, but still needing plenty of room owing to its spreading branches. There are two examples at Kew; one, on the lawn west of the Iris Garden (H. 16) measures 36 × 434 ft (1972); the other, in the Lime collection, is about the same height and 314 ft in girth. A crowded specimen at Westonbirt measures 80 × 514 ft (1977).

An excellent account of this species by Nigel Muir will be found in Gard. Chron., Vol. 183 (1978), pp. 21-2.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

This species is portrayed in Bot. Mag., n.s., t.859.

specimens: Kew, near Iris Garden, pl. 1911, 36 × 5 ft (1985) and two others of about the same age and size in the Lime Collection; Westonbirt, Glos., 82 × 534 ft and a younger tree in the Acer Glade, pl. 1943, 60 × 414 ft (1983); Anglesey Abbey, Cambs., pl. 1929, 50 × 312 ft (1984); Killerton, Devon, 58 × 312 ft (1980).

† T. chingiana Hu & Chen – This species, described from Kiangsi in 1935, is near to T. oliveri. It is at present known in cultivation only from trees raised at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, Eire, from seeds received from the Lushan Botanic Garden in Kweichow in 1938 (another introduction from the same source was T. henryana). The specimen at Birr measures 33 × 134 ft (1985) and judging from herbarium specimens it scarcely differs from T. oliveri in foliage, except that the leaves are more scantily stellate-downy beneath.



Other species in the genus