This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Trees with simple or stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, stipulate, obliquely cordate, serrate or lobed, on long petioles. Flowers fragrant, white or yellowish, in axillary or terminal cymes, with a leafy bract adnate to the peduncle. Sepals 5, valvate. Petals 5, often with a scale at the base. Stamens numerous. Ovary 5-celled. Fruit globose, nut-like, indehi-scent; 1- or 2-seeded; seeds albuminous. About eight species, from the temperate region of the northern hemisphere. The Latin name of this genus. The Lime-tree, or Linden, in its numerous variations forms one of our handsomest ornamental trees. The Russian bast is from the bark of the Lime-tree.
1. T. Europcea. Lime-tree. - This, in its ordinary form, is a stately tree 60 to 100 feet high; but the varieties of it differ greatly in stature and size and form of leaf, and presence or absence of pubescence on the leaves and fruits. Many of these forms have been described as species, though they are now usually ranged under this name. The common native variety is parvifolia - a small tree with small glabrous leaves and hairy fruits. The one commonly planted is called grandi-fdlia, and has large leaves which are downy beneath and ribbed fruits; and there is a handsome weeping variety of this. The variety laciniata has lobed leaves, and corallina (or rubra) bright red twigs - this is a very handsome variety; aurea has golden-yellow twigs, and there are several other varieties of more or less merit.
2. T. argentea, syn. T. tomentosa and T. alba (not of Michaux). - The bark of this species is greyish white, and the leaves are clothed with a silvery pubescence beneath. It blooms later than the common one, and retains its leaves later in Autumn. This is a native of South-eastern Europe and Asia Minor, now tolerably abundant in this country, and one of the handsomest in cultivation.
3. T. Americana, syn. T. Canadensis, T. nigra, and T. glabra. - This is the commonest of the American species in cultivation, being represented by several varieties. They may be distinguished by their obliquely broadly cordate or truncate deeply mucronately toothed glabrous leaves. There are several names besides those above enumerated given to slight and often inconstant varieties. One form has leaves a foot or more long and proportionately broad.
T. alba, T. heterophylla, and T. pubescens are the names of other North American species, but the same names are employed for some varieties of the European species.
The T. dasystyla of Loudon, or euchlora of Koch, if indeed both authors had the same thing in view, is a handsome form with dark green glabrous leaves except on the under side in the angles of the principal nerves.
Besides the foregoing there is a set of fine large-leaved varieties or forms in cultivation, including T, Mandshiirica from Eastern Asia, probably a distinct species, with coarsely toothed deeply cordate leaves clothed with a grey pubescence beneath. T. hybrida superba referred to the North American T. pubescens, and T. vitifolia to T. Europaea.