Basswood (Tilia americana)

Am. Basswood tree

Other common names for Basswood are American Linden and American Basswood.

Am. Basswood leaves

The Cherokee used Basswood for many different purposes.   A jell was made from the bark and used to treat TB.  A tea was made from the inner bark and used during pregnancy for heartburn, for upset stomachs and bowl problems.   A mixture of bark and cornmeal was used as a poultice to treat boils.  A tea was made from the bark for use as a cough medicine and a compound of the inner bark was taken Dysentery.

Am. Basswood bark

 

The inner bark was a source of fiber for ropes, mats, fish nets, and baskets.

Am. Basswood baskets

It is a native deciduous tree that can get 30 to 40 feet tall and has been know to live 150-200 years.   It prefers full sun to part shade with well drained soils.    It blooms in June with pale yellow flowers.    Basswood produces a lot of nectar that honeybees love to work and it makes a great tasting honey.

Am. Basswood flowers

Basswood is what is known as a soil enriching species, which means it brings calcium and magnesium up from deep in the soil and deposits it in leaf litter on the surface of the ground.

This is a beautiful tree to have in your garden especially if you are trying  to attract more pollinators like honeybees.   Keep in mind that the more native plants you have in your garden the more birds and butterflies you will attract.

 

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