Little Leaf Linden Tree Growing Profile

Tilia cordata

Little leaf linden tree
Getty Images/Bernard Jaubert

Add a touch of romance to your garden landscape with the little leaf linden -- if you look closely, their leaves resemble hearts. You'll also love how heavenly they smell. 

Latin Name

This tree was dubbed Tilia cordata and its home is historically in the Tiliaceae family, though it is now included in the Malvaceae family as a part of the Tilioideae subfamily. Malvaceae members include cacao (Theobroma cacao), durian (Durio zibethinus), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), and rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus).

Common Names

This can be written as little leaf linden or littleleaf linden. In the United Kingdom, lindens are known as lime trees (not to be confused with the citrus lime).

Preferred USDA Hardiness Zones

Your little leaf linden will grow in Zones 4-7. It is native to western Asia and Europe.

Size and Shape

Expect this tree to be 50-80' tall and 20-60' wide in your landscape. It grows in a pyramidal or oval shape.

Exposure

Plant in a site where it will receive sun throughout the day for optimal results. It is also able to grow if there is some light shade.

Foliage/Flowers/Fruit

The leaves sport a cordate shape and are approximately 3" long. Tiny yellow flowers appear in early and mid-summer. They are sweetly perfumed and bees love them. After the blossoms appear, small brown nutlets are produced.

Design Tips For the Little Leaf Linden

Tilia cordata is an excellent candidate for urban locations as it can survive through drought and pollution.

Growing Tips

This linden can be planted in well-draining soil that is acidic, neutral or alkaline. It does need a steady supply of water as it does not tolerate drought.

Maintenance and Pruning

Tilia cordata can be trimmed into a hedge shape.

Pests and Diseases

Overall, there won't be too many life-threatening problems for your little leaf linden.

Pests:

  • Aphids (Aphididae family)
  • Caterpillars
  • Gall mites
  • Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)
  • Horse chestnut scale (Pulvinaria regalis)
  • Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica)
  • Leaf miners
  • Sawflies (suborder Symphyta)
  • Spider mites (Tetranychidae family)

Diseases:

  • Anthracnose (Gnomonia tilia)
  • Leaf blight
  • Phytophthora spp.
  • Powdery mildew
  • Verticillium wilt (Verticillium spp.)