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Pale yellow lime tree fly-away seeds - Stock Image

Stock Photo: 17776243
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Description

Early summer, and the flowers of a European lime tree Tilia x europaea start to turn into seeds. The seeds lend a characteristic yellow colour to the whole tree. Lime trees have 'fly-away' seeds, in this case a simple leaf bract that spins like helicopter blades.

The lime tree has nothing to do with the lime fruit Citrus aurantifolia. The common (European) lime is a natural hybrid of the small-leafed lime Tilia cordata and the large-leafed lime Tilia platyphyllos. The name 'lime' is a form of the word linden, which in turn comes from the German 'linde' (rope).

Most of the lime trees found in Britain today were imported from the Netherlands in 17th and 18th centuries. At this time, they were popular in the gardens of stately homes, either on their own or in 'lime avenues'.

Linden (lime) Tea is much used on the Continent, especially in France, where stocks of dried lime-flowers are kept in most households for making 'Tilleul'. (Quote from a 1931 herbal book.)

Other photographs of lime trees Tilia species:

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