This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
Several species of Lime may be met in woods and plantations, but respecting the right of each to be called indigenous there is a good deal of difference of opinion among authorities. Some say the present species is a native and the Large-leaved Lime (T. platyphyllos) not; others reverse this verdict and say that platyphyllos is certainly native, but that parvifolia is doubtfully so. There is little difference, other than the size of the leaves, between the two. Both are trees of sixty feet and upwards. The leaves are alternate, heart-shaped and toothed, lop-sided at the base, and about two and a half inches across in parvifolia, compared with four inches in platyphyllos. In July and August the Small-leaved Lime puts forth her yellowy-green blossoms arranged in cymes, the long stalk of which is furnished with a long pale-coloured bract. The flowers consist of five sepals, five petals, a great number of stamens, a five celled globular ovary with simple style and a five-toothed stigma. Only one of the cells matures its two ovules, so that the fruit is two-seeded. The flowers are sweet-scented, and very rich in honey.
The generic name, Tilia, is that by which the Romans knew the tree.