Content Detail

Mongolian linden is smaller than other species of lindens and it has an unusual exfoliating (peeling) bark. It is slower growing than other lindens. Fall color is a moderate yellow.

  • Family (English) Linden
  • Family (botanic) Tiliaceae
  • Planting site City parkway, Residential and parks, Wide median
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet), Small tree (15-25 feet)
  • Mature height 20-30 feet
  • Mature width 15-25 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois)
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil
  • Season of interest early fall, early summer, late summer, mid fall, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Yellow
  • Shape or form Pyramidal, Round
  • Growth rate Slow
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations May be difficult to find in nurseries
  • Wildlife Insect pollinators
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

This is native to China.

Bark color and texture:

This tree has exfoliating bark.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Simple, alternate leaves are atypical for linden trees. Leaves have 3 to 5 lobes with sharply serrated margins.  Leaf size can vary from 2 to 3 inches. In summer, leaves are dark green.  Fall color is a mild yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Creamy yellow flowers in hanging clusters bloom in early summer.  Each cluster is accompanied by a long, strap-shaped bract and is very fragrant.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruits are small gray nutlets, accompanied by a long strap-like bract.


Plant care:

This tree grows best in moist, well-drained soils.  It prefers acid soil, but can tolerate alkaline soil.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Japanese beetles and linden borer are possible insect problems. Verticillium wilt is a possible fungal problem. It shows resistance to aphids.

Harvest Gold Linden (Tilia ‘Harvest Gold): 

This is a hybrid between Tilia mongolica and Tilia cordata. Its leaves look more like little-leaf linden than mongolian linden. It has an upright habit reaching 40 feet high by 30 feet wide. It has good yellow fall color.


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