Walk About Wednesday: Basswood Tree

Look at this beautiful tree. This is the American basswood or sometimes called the Linden tree.

The scientific name is Tilia americana.

Trees in the genus Tilia are deciduous (lose their leaves in autumn) and usually have silver-grey bark.

They are found in Europe, Asia and North America.

Basswood trees have interesting flowers and fruiting bodies.

Courtesy of Pixabay images

The yellowish-white flowers grow in groups of 6 to 20 and they hang from the center of a long leaflike structure called a bract.

Here is a picture of what it looks like when autumn arrives, and the flowers have developed into the fruiting body. Isn’t that interesting?

Look at the shape of the basswood leaf. How would you describe it?

Heart-shaped is correct.

No wonder the basswood tree is called the “tree of lovers” in some cultures.

Indigenous peoples used the bast or inner bark of this tree to make rope, mats and baskets. The inner bark of this tree is fibrous, which means it is stringy or threadlike, making it perfect for weaving baskets or braiding ropes.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Basswood produces alot of nectar. If you walk by one during blooming season, you can smell the sweet odor. Sometimes it is very strong.

What type of insect do you think loves the basswood tree?

Courtesy of Pixabay images

The honeybee for sure.

As basswood trees age and decay, they develop cavities easily.

What types of animals do you think like these cavities?

Courtesy of PIxabay

Why, woodpeckers and other birds and small mammals, of course. What are some topics in today’s post that you need help understanding?

Do you know what these words mean?

Bract

genus

scientific name

If not, look them up.

The next time you are on a walk-about, research a tree that you find.

You never know what fun facts you might learn about a tree right in your neighborhood.

Have a great day!

Peace,

Nature Mamaw

Sources of information for today’s post include

https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/tilame/all.html

https://sites.google.com/a/macalester.edu/ordwipedia/traditional-ecological-knowledge-tek-from-ling-225/basswood

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