Carolina basswood
Tilia americana var. caroliniana
  • LEAVES: alternate, simple, deciduous; cordate, coarsely toothed, asymmetrical base; could confuse with red mulberry
  • FLOWER: appears in spring after leaves; leaf-like bract of 3-5", cyme on end of long peduncle
  • FRUIT: cluster of small (1/4" diameter) nuts on the end of peduncle attached to a bract
  • TWIGS: winter buds are mucilaginous; twigs red to green; buds inequilateral
  • BARK: gray, furrowed with age; smooth grayish green when young
  • FORM: medium to large tree, 70-80’ x 2-3’ dbh
  • HABITAT: moist, fertile, well drained sites
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Upland (FACU): Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: eastern US
  • USES: wood is very even grained and easy to carve, used for plywood and pulp; excellent honey; limited value to wildlife, squirrels eat nuts, deer browse
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. large, cordate leaf with asymmetrical base
    2. mucilaginous buds
    3. flowering bract

    NOTES: Tilia americana has been treated as a single highly polymorphic species, or split into as many as 20 species. The morphological features used to identify different species intergrade and are not reliable, thus we will treat it as one complex species.