The birthplace of the American black linden Tilia – basswood is the eastern part of North America (North East U.S., Canada).
Basswood spreads from New Brunswick in America to southern Manitoba in Canada, and to the south – to North Carolina, Kentucky and Nebraska in the USA. It is a tree up to 39 m, with a dense, extended, ovoid, almost round crown with 22 m diameter. Bark is dark, almost black, with long, shallow grooves. Shoots are glabrous, green (brown). The leaves are broadly oval, up to 20 cm, unbalanced, top acute, cordate at base, sharp-toothed, dark green in summer and lemon-yellow in the fall.
Top leaf is dark-green, glossy, and the bottom leaf is light green, with tufts of hair (beards) in the corners of the veins. Flowers are yellowish, quite large, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, are gathered in 6-15 drooping inflorescences. It has abundant flowering in the second half of July. The flowers are rich in nectar so that the flowering trees are full of bees. The resulting white honey is exceptionally fragrant. Fruits are spherical nuts, without ridges, 6-9 mm in diameter. Basswood (black) grows relatively slowly, its annual growthis 60 cm (23”) in height and 45 cm (17”) in width.
Basswood is shade-tolerant, enough wind resistant, undemanding to soil conditions, tolerates drought, quite frost-resistant. It prefers the sheltered from the wind, light place with fertile, moist soil.
Sow brown seeds right after harvest. It is desirable to store seeds in tightly sealed glass container at a temperature of about 0°C (32 F). Seeds give rise in the 2 – 3rd year. It is recommended to prepare seeds by scarification (superficial damage of hard shells of seeds) or stratification (prolonged exposure of seeds of plants at a certain temperature). During scarification it is recommended pre-treatment with acid; stratification is made in peat-sand mixture for 6 months at 0 – 5°C (32 F), or in variable conditions (2 – 3 months of warm, then cold stratification). Seeding depth is 2 – 3.5 cm (1-2”).
It grows single and in groups. It is cultivated since 1752. It is extremely decorative lime, distinctive among other by large leaves and flowers in small florets with long bracts. Basswood (black) provides a deep shadow, especially effective as single crop at the free lawn area. It has a high resistance to gas. It is used in the landscape design of urban areas.
People distinguish three forms of decorative American (black) lime: f. ampelophylla with large lobed leaves, macrophylla (f. macrophylla) with very large leaves, 20 cm long and f. fastigiata – with narrow-pyramidal crown.
Basswood is a fine honey plant. One bee colony collects up to 10-15 kg of honey and productivity per hectare reaches 700-1000 kg. White honey has long been considered as one of the best. White honey, like lime flowers, has a diaphoretic effect and is used to treat a variety of diseases.
Basswood honey is very fragrant, transparent, has slightly yellow or greenish color. Contains 39.27% levulose and 36.05% glucose. Bees visit flowers in the morning and evening, when they abundantly secrete nectar.
In folk medicine, this honey is recommended for colds.
Linden flowers contain essential oil, bitter tannins, flavonoids, coumarin, saponins, wax, sugar, glucose, carotene, vitamins, micro-and macronutrients. Medicine from them increases urination, perspiration, improves the flow of gastric juice, increases the secretion of digestive glands and facilitates the flow of bile, also act as anti-inflammatory and relaxing.
Traditional medicine has long used lime for colds, fevers, the flu and bronchitis. At home, the lime is often used as a diuretic and expectorant. Lime flowers are also used as an infusion to rinse the mouth and throat or lotions.
This tea has beneficial effects on the body, for colds, diseases of kidney and lung. However, it excites the nervous system, which may adversely affect the heart.
You can prepare a decoction or infusion. Drink hot broth at night for coughs, colds, headaches, sore throat, lung fever, abdominal pain, rheumatism, and fainting. Decoction of fresh flowers is used inside for the treatment of the urethra (mixed with sage grass) and presence of sand in the urine. If you add in the glass of the broth 5 grams of baking soda, it can be used for gargling.
Extract is applied to rinse in the treatment of stomatitis, gingivitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, and in the form of lotions and poultices for inflamed hemorrhoids, swelling, ulcers, rheumatism, gout, diseases of the female reproductive organs, and to wipe the face with oily skin.
Infusion of lime flowers is used to make baths in the treatment of nervous diseases.
A coal, which is produced from dried wood or dried lime twigs has a special role in the scientific and traditional medicine. It has a remarkable ability to bind harmful substances in quantities exceeding its own volume up to 90 times.
Modern scientific medicine uses the coal to adsorb toxins in case of poisoning. Pulverized coal cures food poisoning, tuberculosis, diarrhea, diseases of the stomach and intestines, it used as an external agent in the treatment of open bleeding wounds.
Lime tar is also used. Tar treats eczema, you can oil the affected places. If you cough, put to the back between the shoulder blades palm-sized cloth, heavily greased with tar, which is changed every 2-3 days.
Pulverized into powder and soaked in vinegar fruits are used in the treatment of bleeding wounds, nose, mouth, etc. Comminuted lime buds or leaves are used as a softening agent for abscesses. Lime leaves can be applied to boils. Our ancestors used lime leaves externally for headache as a compress on the head, and flowers – as an emollient poultice.
Lime bark is used to increase bile production. It is usually harvested in the winter. The bark is dried, pulverized and taken as powder or brewed as a tea. Boiled young lime bark, which gives a lot of mucus, is used to treat burns, gout, hemorrhoids.
Chopped fresh lime buds and leaves are anti-inflammatory, analgesic and emollient and are used in the treatment of burns, inflammation of the mammary glands and other inflammations. Cambium (the layer between the phloem and wood) is used in the treatment of burns as a powder.