This tree has not been found fossil in Britain, but in the Pine and Oak Zones in S. Sweden. It is found in the North Temperate Zone in Europe and the Caucasus. The Common Lime, as is suggested by its absence from any deposits where fossil seeds and fruits have been discovered, as well as by its history, is not truly aboriginal, and its distribution is dependent upon planting. It is, however, well dispersed.

Lime (Tilia vulgaris, L.) showing Drooping Foliage

Photo. B. Hanley - Lime (tilia Vulgaris, L.) Showing Drooping Foliage

The Common Lime has been requisitioned for forming plantations for many centuries, but was doubtless introduced here. Where it is not found forming plantations it is planted in and around gardens and in parks to create a landscape effect, and may be found in most country districts, as well as in towns, where it thrives, but it is often superseded by other species of Lime.

The Lime has the tree habit. The trunk may exceptionally reach a height of 120 ft. The bole is thick. The branches are spreading, hanging down at the extremities. The twigs are hairless. The leaf buds are drooping at first; if horizontal, they would be more exposed to cold. The leaves are thin, membranous, light transparent green, twice as long as the leaf-stalks, rounded to heart-shaped, unequal at the base, hairless, except at the branching of the veins below where there are woolly tufts, smooth above. The young leaves have stellate hairs. The stipules are large, crimson or ruby.