- Tree name
- Close relatives
- Biological Description
- Chemical composition
- Medicinal value
Small-leaved heart-shaped linden is a fairly common plant included in the mallow family. Until a certain time, the tree was attributed to an independent family of lime trees.
Among the ancient Slavs, linden was considered a symbol of love and beauty, and among Western Europeans - the keeper of the family hearth. Compositions were formed from it near churches and temples. Burning this tree was equated with a huge offense. All parts of it were used for medicinal purposes. Linden was a source of honey and raw materials for the manufacture of various utensils and household items.
In the old days, linden was called lubnyak, lychnik and bast. These ethnonyms were given by the people because of the materials that the bark of the tree bestowed. Bast is a part of the bark from which bast and bast were obtained. The Russian ethnonym is tied to the ancient word "lipati", meaning "to stick". Young leaves and fresh tree sap are sticky.
From two words, the heart-shaped linden received the Latin name Tilia cordata. The basis for the generic name of the tree was the Greek word ptilon (modified into tilia), translated as "wing", or"feather". It is directly related to the winged bracts, which are fused with peduncles. With the species name of the plant, the shape of its leaves, resembling a heart, was associated. It comes from the Latin cordata - "heart".
European open spaces and adjacent Asian regions have chosen the heart-shaped linden for living. She captured vast areas in the Russian forest and forest-steppe zones. There are islands and pure lime massifs. Huge pure lime forests covered part of the lands of the southern Cis-Urals. In other regions, they managed to capture insignificant areas.
Basically linden grows as an admixture to the stands of broad-leaved and mixed forests. Often found in a mixture with oak. Often lime forests grow in the second tier of oak forests and coniferous-deciduous forests. It grows in separate fragments in the west of Siberia. Here its range ends in the lower reaches of the Irtysh, on the right coast. Most lime forest is found in the Urals and the European territories bordering it.
The tree is demanding on soil fertility. It is not able to endure waterlogging, but it is quite shade-tolerant. Linden undergrowth develops excellently in the second tier, under the shadow cast by dense spruce forests. The trees grow a luxurious crown with rich foliage, giving a dense shade. Many shrubs and trees cannot grow under such a canopy.
Since the gas resistance of the heart-shaped linden is quite large, many urbanlandings. Linden alleys are created along the streets. Group plantings and solo compositions are formed in parks and squares. It is good for roadside plantings.
In urban landscapes, not only small-leaved linden is used, but also its closest relative. Large-leaved linden, whose birthplace is the central regions of Europe, is added to a variety of planting cities. Trees tolerate pruning very well.
In the lands of the Far East, there are two varieties of linden - Amur and Manchurian. They have medicinal properties and morphology of lime heart-shaped. In large-leaved linden, earlier flowering is noted. She has more leaves and flowers than her relative.
Linden refers to deciduous trees. Slender tree trunks, crowned with wide tent-like crowns, grow to a height of 20-38 meters. Young lindens are covered with smooth brown bark. In old trees, the upper layer of the bark of dark gray shades on the trunks is dotted with deep furrowed cracks.
The plant has a powerful root system. Its strong taproot penetrates deep into the soil, providing the tree with high wind resistance.
The heart-shaped linden is strewn with regular, heart-shaped, pointed leaves on top. Their description does not end there. The length and width of the leaves fluctuate in the range of 2-8 centimeters. Coppice shoots are covered with large leaves, their size reaches 12 centimeters.
Finely serrated from the edgesplates have a clear venation. Their upperparts are bare, of green hues, and their underparts are bluish, strewn along the veins with yellowish-brown hairs collected in bundles. In long leafy felt-pubescent petioles, the color is green in summer, red in autumn. Linden leaves bloom very late. Her crowns turn green only by the end of May, or even at the beginning of June. Only oaks dress in foliage later than linden.
Fragrant flowers of the heart-shaped linden are painted in yellowish-white tones. Their diameter does not exceed one centimeter. They, gathered in bunches of 3-15 pieces, form corymbose inflorescences attached to a greenish-yellowish bract lanceolate leaf, which fuses half the length with the axis of the inflorescence.
The calyx of the flowers is five-leaved, the corolla is five-petal, with many stamens. The pistil has a five-celled ovary, a short thickened style and 5 stigmas. Flowering begins in early July (occasionally at the end of June). Trees bloom for 2-3 weeks. Linden is pollinated by various insects.
The botanical description of the fruits of this tree is particularly interesting. The fruit of a linden is called a nut. It has a spherical shape and a diameter of 4-8 mm. The shell of a tiny nut is thin and fragile. Nuts ripen in September, and begin to crumble with the advent of winter, when the crowns are completely bare.
Fruits fall in whole inflorescences. As soon as they touch the snow cover, they fly away into the distance, picked up by the wind. In winter, during the thaw period, the snow cover thickens, twitches with crust. Infructescence, equipped with a sail - a bract,are blown by the wind across the ice crust, like tiny iceboats.
In nature, the tree prefers to reproduce vegetatively. It develops from layers and stumps. In lime forests, the main part of the forest stand, in essence, belongs to coppice origin.
However, it is not in vain that countless fruit-nuts are formed on the trees. Linden does not bypass seed renewal. In the forests there are always sprouts that have sprouted from its seeds. It is too difficult to understand that a sprout with two strongly dissected leaves is a linden. These leaves are not at all like those collected in a crown.
The growth of linden seedlings is slowed down. Its acceleration is noted in the sixth year of growth. Until the age of sixty, the linden grows at a rapid pace, and then it seems to freeze. By the age of 130-150, having reached the maximum height, she stops increasing in height.
However, this does not apply to the width of the trunk and crown. They continue to slowly grow over the years. The heart-shaped linden is a long-liver. Trees live for 300-400 years. Some relic specimens live up to 600 years.
Fragrant linden flowers are saturated with flavonoids, tannins, carotene, saponins. They have vitamin C, sugars and essential oils. In the bracts found mucus with tannins. Linden bark is rich in the triterpenoid tiliadin.
Fruits-nuts of the tree are enriched with fatty oil. In nuts, its concentration approaches 60%. The quality of this oil is high, itnot inferior to Provencal. It has an aftertaste of almond or peach oil. The leaves contain carbohydrates, mucus, carotene and vitamin C.
Linden heart-shaped belongs to the group of medicinal plants with mild antispasmodic, secretolytic, diuretic and diaphoretic action. Lime blossom has a diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antipyretic and diuretic effect on the human body.
Linden relieves feverish conditions, colds associated with inflammation of the pharynx and bronchi. It is used for influenza, tonsillitis, tuberculosis and mumps. Linden infusions are recognized as the best remedy for pyelonephritis and cystitis. Thanks to decoctions of dried flowers, they get rid of intestinal colic, atherosclerosis.
Compresses are applied to boils, for which leaves, flowers and buds are used. The heart-shaped linden is endowed with a sedative effect. Thanks to it, the viscosity of the blood is reduced. Fruit nuts are used to stop bleeding. They heal extensive burns. They help with mastitis, gout and hemorrhoids.
Calcined and crushed wood relieve flatulence, eliminate poisoning. Linden tar is used to treat eczema. Infusions of lime flowers are recommended for those who are burdened with diabetes.
Linden blossom is a great cosmetic product. Infusions and decoctions from it, saturated with a complex of biologically active compounds,strengthen hair, relieve sweating, cleanse and soften the skin.