Trees or shrubs (rarely herbs) with simple, stipulate, alternate, dentate lvs., with fls. axillary, hypogynous, usually perfect and polyadelphous; with the sepals 4 or 5, deciduous, valvate in aestivation, the petals 4 or 5, imbricated; stamens ∞, with. 2-celled, versatile anthers. Ovary of 2 to 10 united carpels, a compound style, and stigmas as many as carpels. Fr. dry or succulent, many-celled, or 1-celled by abortion. Embryo in the axis of fleshy albumen. (Fig. 185.)
Genera 38, species 350, native in all regions, but especially within the tropics. Like the Mallows, the Lindenblooms abound in a wholesome mucilaginous juice, and a tough, stringy bark. Of the liber of the European Lindens the celebrated Russia matting is manufactured, and in India various species of Corchorus yield a good substitute for hemp, used for fishing-lines, nets, rice-bags, etc.
1. CORCHORUS, L. Sepals and petals 4 or 5; stamens ∞, rarely as few as the petals; style very short, deciduous, stigmas 2 to 5; capsule roundish or siliquose, 2 to 5-celled, many-seeded. - Herbs or shrubs with yellow flowers.
C. siliquosus L. Branching, minutely hispid; lvs. ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, equally serrate, 4 times longer than the petioles; caps. siliquose, linear, 2-valved. - About N. Orleans (Hale). St. slender. Lvs. 2 to 3' long, 1/4. as wide, the vein-lets running to the points of the serratures. Fls. 4-merous, with 12 or 16 stamens. Pod nearly 2' long, the numerous seeds in 2 rows.
2. TILIA, L. Linden or Lime Tree. Calyx of 5, united sepals, colored; corolla of 5, oblong, obtuse petals, crenate at apex; stamens
∞, somewhat polyadelphous, each set (in the N, American species) with a petaloid scale (staminodium) attached at base; ovary superior, 5-celled, 2-ovuled; capsules globous, by abortion 1-celled, 1 to 2-seeded. - Trees. Lvs. cordate. Fls. cymous, with the peduncle adnate to the vein of a large leaf-like bract.
§ Staminodia 5, petaloid, opposite the petals.......................
Nos. 1, 2
§ Staminodia none. Stamens scarcely cohering...........................
1 T. Americana L. Bass-wood. Lvs. broad cordate, unequal at base, mucro-nate-serrate, acuminate, coriaceous, smooth and green on both sides; petals truncate or obtuse at apex; sty. as long as the petals. - A common forest tree in the Northern and Mid. States. It often grows to the height of 80f, the trunk straight, and naked more than half this hight, and 3 to 4f diam. Lvs. 4 to 5' by 3 to 4', those of the young shoots often twice these dimensions. Bracts yellowish, linear-oblong. Petals yellowish white, larger than the staminodia opposite them. Fruit woody, greenish, of the size of peas. Jn. - The inner bark is very strong and is manufactured into ropes. The wood is white, soft, and clear, much used in cabinet work and in the paneling of carriages.
β Walteri. Lvs. pubescent (but green) beneath. - A large tree, Va. to Fla., low country, in woods and along rivers. It takes the place of the smooth variety (a), which is common northward and along the Mts. to Ga. (T. pubes-cens Ait. i T. laxiflpra Mx. T. Americana Walt).
2 T. heterophylla Vent. White Bass-wood. Lvs. obliquely subcordate, scarcely acuminate, white and velvety beneath, with darker veins, glabrous, shining, and dark green above, mucronately seirate petals obtuse, crenulate; staminodia spatulate; sty. hairy at base, longer than the petals. - Banks of the Ohio and Miss. (Pursh.) Not common. Trees 20 to 50f high. Lvs. very oblique at base, 3 to 5' diam., well distinguished by the white surface beneath, contrasted with the purple veins. Bract linear-oblong. Cal. hoary, gradually pointed. Fr. globular.
β alba. Lvs. whitish and minutely tomentous beneath, serratures fine and long-mucronate. - Ky. and southward along the mts. Tree of great size. One specimen (Rock Castle Co.) I judged to be 90f in hight, with wide-spread branches, in open space. Reddish hairs in the axils of the veins beneath.
3 T. Europaea L. Llme Tree. Lvs. suborbicular, obliquely cordate, abruptly acuminate, serrulate, twice as long as the petioles, glabrous except a woolly-tuft in the axils of the veins beneath. - A highly ornamental tree with very dense foliage, cultivated in parks. Bracts rhombic-oblong. † Eur. (T. mi crophylla, etc.)