Content Detail

Silver linden has leaves that are dark green above and silvery-white below. It can be used as a street tree. The fragrant flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer are very attractive to pollinators.

  • 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 Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 50-70 feet
  • Mature width 25-40 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Yellow
  • Shape or form Pyramidal
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

Silver linden is native to Europe and Asia.

Bark color and texture: 

On young trees the bark is a smooth gray. On older trees, the bark becomes more ridged.

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

Simple, alternate leaves are heart-shaped with sharply serrated margins. Leaf size can vary from 2 to 5 inches. In summer, leaves are dark green above and silvery-white on the underside. Fall color is a mild yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Creamy yellow, very fragrant flowers in hanging clusters of 7 to 10 flowers per cluster bloom in early summer. Each cluster is accompanied by a long, strap-shaped bract. 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

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

Plant care:

Silver linden is best planting in full sun. It is fairly adaptable to soil pH and will tolerate drought a little better than other linden species.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Aphids, Japanese beetles, and linden borer are possible insect problems. Powdery mildew and verticillium wilt are possible fungal problems. Silver linden does show less susceptibility than other lindens to Japanese beetles.

Green Mountain® silver linden (Tilia tomentosa ‘PNI 6051’):

This cultivar has a faster growth rate and is more tolerant of heat and drought.

Sterling silver linden (Tilia tomentosa ‘Sterling’): 

Good tolerance of heat and drought. This cultivar shows some resistance to Japanese beetle.


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