The Fragrant Linden Tree (Tilia)

I wish you could visit me when my Linden tree is in bloom. From late June through mid-July, this Tilia dangles creamy-yellow, star-shaped flowers beneath its pale-green branches. The flowers are not conspicuous. But they don’t have to be! They announce their presence by exhaling the sweetest, most powerful perfume known to the plant kingdom.

The scent — a blend of honey and lemon peel — is far-reaching. On a warm, still day, it envelopes all four acres here. The bees obviously love the fragrance as much as I do, for the tree buzzes with life throughout its bloom period.

I’ve read that Lindens can live for 1000 years. This means mine (above, tree with silver-toned leaves) is probably a youngster of about 100 years old. It stands about 80 feet tall and 40 feet wide. It was worth buying this old, dilapidated manse just to inherit the tree.

If you already have a mature Tilia on your property, or one in a public park near you, by all means cherish it. The perfume will enchant you, and its shade, on a hot summer afternoon, will soothe you.

Tilia americana. Not for a small suburban yard, but delightful in a park (or a park-size yard), this “Basswood” matures at 60-80 feet, with a 20-40 foot spread in deep, fertile, moist soil. Hardy zones 3-7.

Tilia cordata or “Littleleaf Linden”. This one will tolerate a wide range of soils, and even winter salt, making it ideal for sidewalk planting. That is, until it achieves its potential 30-50 feet height, and 20-30 foot width. Pyramidal in shape; hardy in zones 3-8.

Tilia tomentosa This might be the variety I have. Leaves are heart-shaped with silvery undersides, giving the tree the common name “Silver Linden.” Grows 80-100 feet tall, and 40 feet wide. Mine flourishes in zone 5-b, although the “authorities” say it is hardy in zones 6-9.

Tilia platyphyllos. You will see this imposing, “Bigleaf Linden” lining formal boulevards and grand allees throughout Europe. Despite the nickname, its leaves are no bigger than other lindens, but its stems are covered in long hairs. Hardy in zones 5-8.

In the comments, please let me know if you have ever smelled the blossoms of the Linden tree. Intoxicating, yes?

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  1. Yolanda says:

    This is the tree that has everyone looking around, wondering where the great scent is coming from. The scent is intoxicating.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Never have, but added this to my list of things to one day enjoy…now to research an area where they grow and plan a future trip during bloom time…thanks for such an interesting site…enjoy all of your writings and recipes.

  3. Have never smelled one that I know of. It sounds like the sort of scent you'd want to smell before deciding whether to plant one. Have you ever come across anyone who didn't like the smell or found it overpowering?

  4. Anonymous — Glad you enjoy this site. Hopefully you can find an in-bloom Linden not far from you. I know they are plentiful in the Northeast, and also in England. A friend in London called this morning and told me all the Lindens are in bloom there now, too.

    BBI — While the scent is heavy, it is not cloying. I find it infinitely inhalable!

  5. BBI, the smell of the Linden is not overpowering. It is memorable and lovely. I particularly favor the Linden as my formal first name is none other than Linden. I was named after the tree my mother so loved!

  6. Wow, how lucky and cool to be named for a beautiful tree!

  7. Mary Ann in Rochester NY says:

    Alas, what scent memories this brings, my beloved
    tilia cordata had to be taken down last spring
    due to storm damage and too close to house.
    How I miss her! I put her in as a small slip
    forty years before and I still mourn her passing.
    Also miss the Goldfinches that dined on the
    flowers! How fortunate you are.

  8. I have eight of them in a small area (silver lindens) and my whole house smells divine, but I have to have them pruned every few years and wonder if eventually some or most will have to go if pruning can't keep them about the size they are now. They are about 15 years old and growing quite a bit each year.

  9. Mary Ann in Rochester – welcome. You can't imagine how badly I feel for both you and your tree. Forty years is a long history together. I wonder if you remember how many years before your cordata bloomed?

    SDN – Welcome. Wow – eight silver lindens! Did you plant them yourself? I'd consult with a tree expert regarding pruning (if you haven't already). Not sure how long you can keep their growth in check without jeopardizing health. They are powerful growers. Same question for you as Mary Ann — how many years before your trees started to bloom?

  10. I have a little leaf linden that I planted as a whip 4 years ago. it is now almost as tall as my 2 story house! It grows very quickly but I wasn’t sure it was going to make it because we kept having to prop it up… it was flopping right over into the street! Anyway, it is growing relatively straight now and I’m anxious to experience this scent. I would love to know when to expect it!

  11. Rachel – That’s some fast-growing Linden you have! Blooms and perfume — for me, anyway — always occur in July.

  12. The scent is indeed intoxicating! I live in lower Manhattan, in New York City, and there is a small park (called Corlear’s Hook Park), on which the paths are lined with about 20 or so Silver Linden trees. This time of year the scent “calls” to me, from blocks away, I just returned from my walk, and wanted to read about these wonderful trees. They’re so shady, and this park is just the place to visit on a hot day, as the benches are underneath them. Gorgeous too, and I’m so glad to learn they live so long.

  13. Susan – Nice to meet you. It is indeed a scent that “beckons.” You are lucky to live near Corlear’s Hook Park.

  14. Thank you for the information on the Linden tree. Every day when walking my dogs I walk past these trees and wondered what kind they were. Beautiful soft sweet smell.
    Claire from Illinois.

  15. She was 10 yrs. old when first blossomed and we were in love ever after
    love the pics, learned life lesson, never plant too near the house
    love your site, great info, and recipes, vinegar weed control working!!

  16. Linden is one of my favorite tree medicines. The dried flowers grace my tea most days and calm my nerves in a soft, gentle way.

  17. There was a road near where we lived in London that was lined with Linden trees and we would go there to play in the summer just to enjoy that incredible scent.

  18. Thank you so much for posting this! We just got back from the south of France. While walking around the lovely town of Ilse de la Sourge in Province, my husband and I could not figure out where the intoxicating fragrance was coming from that filled the air. Then we crossed a small plaza shaded by enormous trees filled with tiny yellow flowers. We could not believe our noses! Never having seen a Linden tree, I took a close-up picture of the flowers to take to my local nursery for identification. Now I know! You are the best, Kevin! I love your website because it is filled with so much interesting information. Don’t ever stop!

  19. Erin Asciola says:

    I live in Bristol RI, and have also wondered what the beautiful, sweet smelling trees all over town were called. Shame on me! Bristol is famous for it’s lindens, and we even have a mansion in the center of town called “Linden Place”!

  20. george goetz says:

    I have two of these trees and if I could the japanese beatles off of it they would be great.

  21. Grazyna says:

    SDN – look into pollarding your linden trees. It’s very popular method of pruning linden trees in Europe so they can be grown and enjoyed in the urban setting. Love those trees and planted tiny whips on our property. Used to have one that was probably more than 100 years old in the old house. It was great to sit under it and enjoy the scent and music of all kinds of insects feasting on the nectar. Dried flowers make nice, calming tea.

  22. Great info about the Linden. I have a miniature one planted in my garden I will transfer into a bonsai pot next year. The potential flowering cycle is an extra to look forward to.

  23. The German-American Klub of Indianapolis has a brick walk around one side that is fully shaded by Linden trees, thus one walks ‘unter der Linden”. The fragrance is usually mistaken as being from the flowers in the shady garden.

  24. there is an ancient Linden tree along the brook near the house. The sweet aroma when it is in bloom is truly intoxicating, but most amazing is the humming of what must be a million bees feasting on the nectar. My grandmother would dry the blossoms for tea in the winter time. Ah, memories. BTW I live in Austria and enjoy your blog tremendously. You make me have more plans than I have time for 😉

  25. Soymoon says:

    We also have an eighty year old linden in our yard. It shades our house most of the day. Glad to hear they live a long time as we don’t have air conditioning and would miss the shade.
    I understand the flowers make a wonderful tea. Too bad they are too high to harvest. Truly fragrant and inviting.

  26. Last year I bought some honey from a local husband and wife, and one of the varieties they offered was a linden flower honey. They recommended the linden honey for herbal teas, and they were so right! Fabulous, unlike any other honey I’ve tried. I’m sure there are lindens somewhere in the city nearby where I live; none out here near me in my town, or I’d have smelled them out by now. Thanks, Kevin!

  27. Donna B. says:

    Kevin, thank you SO much for unknowingly identifying a mystery tree for me!
    I was recently at a convention center; noticing a sweet smell in the air, I looked up into the tree I was sitting under. Boom. Tons of bee’s, little star-shaped flowers, and the air was heavy with a deep honey smell.
    I took some pictures of the leaves/flowers to try to identify it with my MIL’s best reference: her Dirr’s Hardy Tree’s and Shrubs! … No luck.
    And now in just ONE post I now know what this beautiful mystery tree is!!! Maybe when we try to ‘replace’ a dying maple in our backyard, I’ll plant the ‘Littleleaf Linden” in it’s place. I’m all for that intoxicating scent! ♥

  28. Back in the 1970’s I was the main actor in a project to introduce the natural enemies of the Linden aphid in the San Francisco Bay area. This solved the pest problem on the large lindens growing along the streets and other areas. This eliminated the decades long pesticide applications. I would like to know of people/places where the aphid remains a problem. Reports written about this project are on my webside but it is now going through some major changes. Check back or email me directly if interested. regards, bill

  29. Tricia B. says:

    When I was in graduate school back in the late ’60s, a linden grew outside our seminar room in Sprague Hall at Yale. How hard it was to keep one’s mind on Byzantine chant or medieval music notation with that heavenly perfume drifting through the open windows.

  30. Glynnis N says:

    A couple of years ago, my friend and I agreed to meet for lunch in a park near our work. We were wondering around scouting out a picnic table as we walked under the canopy of this enormous tree. We both stopped, looked at eachother, held out our palms and breathed deep and slow. It was transcendental. We drug a picnic table under that tree, and ate our delicious hawaiian bar-b-que takeout, as little pale flowers would flutter down around us. A heavenly memory.

  31. I love my linden, too! I suspect it was planted when the house was built here in southeast Pennsylvania in 1954. The heady fragrance more than compensates for the ‘mess’ when the buds drop & the myriad little fruits that follow. Autumn is not the beauty season for the linden, but when the brown leaves fall, the tree’s graceful fountain shape is revealed.

  32. I grew up in France, practically under the oldest Linden tree in Europe; it is close to a thousand years old. The tree hosted all my dreams from childhood to my early twenties. It has sheltered my laughters and my sorrows. For years and years, under the shade of its large extended branches my village hosted yearly events, starting with medieval feasts in the 1400s to the modern “bals du 14 juillet” and wine festivals. When i now dream about our Linden tree from so far away, i smile as i still capture the fragrance that swirled me around the danse floor. From so far away, I honored its majestic loyalty as our Tilleul still sweetens the days and nights of those who come to sit quietly underneath, or the laughters of the kids who encircle its trunk… like i did with my friends when a child….

  33. Anyone know if a Linden will thrive in the Chicagoland area? I am in Wheaton. We recently lost a less desirable tree to major storms and maybe this would be a lovely replacement. Where does one find these “slips” you speak of?

    Kevin – I love your blog. You are an amazing photographer and I would dearly love to have a 1/4 of your gardens. Keep writing – you are really really good. Furthermore, with all the wonderfully decadent desserts you post about making, how do you stay trim? Peace –

  34. Soymoon says:


    Lindens are native trees in the mid-west. It would do quite well in Illinois.
    Easily available at garden centers. Tilia is the latin name.
    Read above to decide which species is best for your yard.

    Have fun!

  35. Hi folks,

    We have a large, old Linden which shades our summer house in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is about 4 – 5 feet in diameter at the base and buzzes with small bees while in bloom. Now, in early fall it seems that it is full of what appear to be hornets, rather than bees, but I may be mistaken. If this is common, or if anyone could enlighten me as to whether they are a different type of bee, etc I would appreciate it. I could email a picture of the tree if that would help.
    Thanks, Darrell

  36. Thanks for highlighting the beauty of these trees and their famed perfume. We had many streets and a small river quay embankment lined with linden (Lipa) trees in the small town of Sveti Nikole, Macedonia. When they were in bloom in June that sweet honey lemony fragrance was simply unforgettable. After heavy rains there’d be perfumed rivers of linden tree tea running down the streets, with puddles of brewed linden tea – a truly bewildering sight. It is indeed a favourite tea Чај од Липа (Lipa Chai) made from the picked florets of the fragrant linden tree, then dried. An amazing gift of nature. So thankful.

  37. Alice Shechter says:

    We have these on our Brooklyn block. I was finally driven to find out its name. thank you! This tree and its astonishing fragrance gives me a great deal of pleasure…..

  38. Angelina says:

    The fragrance is soothing and intoxicating! I am fortunate enough to have not only one, but TWO of these trees on the side of my house on my property. Not so nice because holy bees and japanese beetles! However, the smell is amazing! Ive lived in my house for 2 years and to be honest, I didnt know how I felt about these two trees at first! They are HUGE and tale
    Over the ENTIRE side of my house with shade and take up space. The last 2 years have been rather dry so they havent bloomed to their full potential until this year! I walked up my sidewalk from my driveway the other day and steppes right into a cloud of the most amazing and pleasant scent. I started doing some research and low and behold…they are Linden Trees! Tilia Americana to be exact. Im allergic to bees so that scares me, but their scent is worth it all! I also have seen that it had medicinal purposes as well!

  39. Bruni Haydl says:

    My sister gave me a Little Leaf Linden as a housewarming gift. Best present I ever got. Love, love, love that tree. When in bloom it is an absolute magnet for bees, bumblebees and other insects. Even had a lovely Zebra Swallowtail nectaring on it. the other evening. The intoxicating but not heavy aroma is like nothing else. I remember having tea made from dried blossoms as a child in Europe. A friend from Kentucky told me that these trees grow in their woods and that “linn honey” was a favorite for that area. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

  40. Madeleine Lewis says:

    Lucky you, Kevin. We had these in our garden growing up in the British Isles. To this day, I cross the street to walk under when I see one in bloom. Closer to home there is one planted in the old Marble Cemetery on 2nd Street in NYC. It’s in bloom now, heaven!

  41. Linda J says:

    Thank you Kevin for more information on the Linden Tree.
    We are in Central Iowa and had two crabapple trees out in front of our house. We lost one
    last year in a storm and would like to replace it (believe the other one won’t last much longer either). We live on a curve so need to keep the tree pruned so drivers can see around the curve. Would the Linden Tree branches be okay to be trimmed for view? We live a few miles from a B & B (Lynnville, IA) that is named The Linden House and it has Linden trees beside it. I love the fragrance from the trees and would love to have one close and now hearing about the tea makes me want it more.
    Thanks for your newsletter – it is my first go to on Sunday mornings even before the newspaper.

  42. Kathy Fober says:

    I love my Linden BUT it is a magnet for Japanese Beetles and while I am enjoying the wonderful fragrance I know the beetles are just emerging and will soon be skeletonizing the leaves. Last year I called the leaves my new mulch. Thankfully this won’t kill the tree. It’s just very unsightly. I would never consider removing the tree for this reason. It is so valuable for attracting pollinators and supporting the bee population. Plus that heavenly fragrance.

  43. Love your discussion about this favorite tree of mine. I remember seeing one at the Philadelphia Zoo (where trees were labeled) about twenty five years ago. Although it wasn’t in bloom, I admired the shape, the bark, and the unusual heart-shaped leaves. We planted one on the southeast side of our front yard and it is about twenty five feet tall now; it provides the best shade and guests will often look around to try and identify the source of the heavenly aroma. So difficult to describe the scent; it is just a light clean fragrance and even enjoyed by a friend who can’t tolerate perfume. I actually had no idea how big they get or how long they live, and now know it probably is too close to the house, but, oh well, as the kids say . Have had ours pruned several times and hope to enjoy it for many more years before it outgrows it’s prized position in our yard. Just have to say how much I look forward to your blogs, Kevin. You are amazing and have the greatest sense of humor (and style, I might add.)

  44. We planted a Little Leaf Linden 19 years ago on the north end of a flower bed in the front yard. It had grown into a beautiful spire shaped tree and blocked most of our view of the house across the street. It also was getting to the size to provide shade underneath for a few chairs to enjoy the shade. I loved the scent it produced from the flowers. One negative thing about the tree is that there were always sticks on the ground to be picked up before mowing could take place, even if there had not been lots of wind. A terrible storm with high winds ended it’s life, two summers ago. It broke off at the base, just like you cut it off at ground level with a knife. It fell across our driveway, miraculously in between a garden bed and a trellis of honeysuckle. I still miss that tree.

  45. Ava lansbery says:

    Would you consider these trees “understory” trees, like dog wood or would you plant them out in the open field? I think they would be marginal in my zone but would like to try.

  46. I suspect that the linden shading the west end of the house was planted in 1954 when the house was built. Heavenly perfume in June, deep shade all summer, and that graceful fountain shape revealed in winter. I can forgive its lackluster autumn; leaves turn brown & drop with no color at all.

  47. Elfrieda says:

    This is a little long, but I am so mad …….
    Dead Bees: 25,000 Found In Car Park Amid Probe

    They were discovered clustering under dozens of blooming European linden trees in Wilsonville, south-west of Portland.

    Experts believe it could be a poisonous species of the tree that caused them to die, or they may have been poisoned by insecticides.

    Most were gold-and-black bumble bees but honey bees and some ladybirds were also found dead.

    Early investigations suggest the trees were recently sprayed with an insecticide known to be toxic to bees.

    One official said experts will be looking at a pesticide called Safari that apparently was applied in the area last Saturday to control aphids such as greenflies.

    Safari is part of a family of pesticides called neonicotinoids that are considered acutely toxic to pollinators.

    Dan Hilburn, plant programmes director at the state Agriculture Department, visited the car park and confirmed “thousands of dead bees”, adding: “I’ve never seen anything like that before”.

    He went on: “Honey bees and bumble bees were arriving as we were there, and bees are still dying.”

    Bees play a crucial role in pollinating berries, flowers and other plants.

    Conservationists Mace Vaughan and Rich Hatfield have been at the scene, filling test tubes with samples to take back to a laboratory.

    There, they will try to confirm either theory for the bees’ sudden deaths.

    “When I was here on Monday, it was even more dramatic than it is today,” Mr Hatfield told KOIN-TV. “There were bees raining out of trees.”

    Mr Vaughan said European linden trees are often treated with insecticides because of the aphids that “rain down” nectar from the trees.

    But there is also a chance that it is not insecticide at all. Mr Vaughan took pollen samples and will test the buds and flowers from the trees.

    “We can’t say for sure that it is something that they put on the tree,” Mr Hatfield said, “because these trees are European Linden trees, which have been known to be toxic to bees.”

  48. Elfrieda says:

    I thought I had just posted this; it is a little long, but I just recently received this as an email — makes me so mad !
    Dead Bees: 25,000 Found In Car Park Amid Probe

    They were discovered clustering under dozens of blooming European linden trees in Wilsonville, south-west of Portland.

    Experts believe it could be a poisonous species of the tree that caused them to die, or they may have been poisoned by insecticides.

    Most were gold-and-black bumble bees but honey bees and some ladybirds were also found dead.

    Early investigations suggest the trees were recently sprayed with an insecticide known to be toxic to bees.

    One official said experts will be looking at a pesticide called Safari that apparently was applied in the area last Saturday to control aphids such as greenflies.

    Safari is part of a family of pesticides called neonicotinoids that are considered acutely toxic to pollinators.

    Dan Hilburn, plant programmes director at the state Agriculture Department, visited the car park and confirmed “thousands of dead bees”, adding: “I’ve never seen anything like that before”.

    He went on: “Honey bees and bumble bees were arriving as we were there, and bees are still dying.”

    Bees play a crucial role in pollinating berries, flowers and other plants.

    Conservationists Mace Vaughan and Rich Hatfield have been at the scene, filling test tubes with samples to take back to a laboratory.

    There, they will try to confirm either theory for the bees’ sudden deaths.

    “When I was here on Monday, it was even more dramatic than it is today,” Mr Hatfield told KOIN-TV. “There were bees raining out of trees.”

    Mr Vaughan said European linden trees are often treated with insecticides because of the aphids that “rain down” nectar from the trees.

    But there is also a chance that it is not insecticide at all. Mr Vaughan took pollen samples and will test the buds and flowers from the trees.

    “We can’t say for sure that it is something that they put on the tree,” Mr Hatfield said, “because these trees are European Linden trees, which have been known to be toxic to bees.”

  49. Elfrieda says:

    My apologies — apparently it posted twice — sorry.

  50. Coolngrl says:

    Kevin-we love lindens here in the northwest! I use the pure essential oil of the linden flower when I make soap or lotion for my family. We all love the scent! Lindens grow well here too.

  51. Scott Trudell says:

    I don’t have a linden tree on my property, but Madison has lots of them all around town which perfume the air. One of my favorite bath soaps is a triple milled French soap scented with linden blossom!

  52. I have what I think is a Linden. It is about 20 years old. As of this year it has not bloomed , I haven’t smelled the beautiful perfume of the Linden. Maybe my tree is not Linden.

    can you

  53. I have what I think is a Linden. However it has not bloomed in about 20 years. Can you give my a reason? Maybe my tree is not Linden.

  54. I LOVE our Linden tree. We bought our first house in Arvada, Colorado in 2002. To this day, one of my favorite aspects of our house is our HUGE Linden that shades more than half of our front yard. The rain rarely makes it through the thick layers of leaves that shade our home. Best tree ever.

  55. We have the most wonderful mature Linden trees in flower all over the village right now – their perfume is so strong, it’s totally amazing

  56. Kathleen Pierce says:

    We recently moved to New Hampshire and I think this is what I have been smelling when I walk my dogs. Now I know what to look for!

  57. Cassandra says:

    The fragrance on my morning walk is wonderful. I smell it before I get to it as the morning air sends it out. I pick a couple flowers and sniff as I walk. I was asking the neighbors what kind of tree it is and no one knew….so I decided to look up “trees with fragrance” and came upon this site.
    I’d like it as a perfume. It is captivating.

  58. Peggy Herron says:

    I enjoy telling othe New Yorkers that the delious smell they are enjoying as they walk in our usually not so sweet smelling city ,is the Linden tree .
    A neighbor who is achief , gathers the blossoms and strings them across her kitchen ceiling.
    She will use them in reciepes . Sitting in her kitchen under the not quite dry Linden flowers is a wonderful experience.
    As for myself besides their fragrance I love when the leaves blow and you see the green and silver underside of the leaf.

  59. Thank you Kevin for the Linden story, and all the commentary-stories. I grew up in Yugoslavia, and most towns I lived in had streets lined with the Lindens. As a child, I ate the back of the flower , sucking the honey along with thousands of bees. My Mom cured all coughs and lung problems with the Linden tea ( my job to pick and dry flowers in the sun). In the winter we baked quinces(male and female), with drizzled Linden honey, to insure no cough could come in. I still get Linden tea, but the freshness and perfume are still part of the long, long ago memory. Your elegant presentation every week on any subject is gratefully received.

  60. Naomi Shelton says:

    I have never smelled the aroma of a Linden tree as far as I know. I wonder if I could get one to grow in central Michigan in zone 5. I know just where I could plant it. Must research.

    Thanks for sharing your love of the Linden. I love trees in general and love to plant them. Alas, I have not much more room on my city lot for planting more trees. Except the spot the Linden could go.

    I love your web-site. You send us the most interesting and useful posts on everything I enjoy. Thanks, Kevin.

  61. george goetz says:

    I have two of these trees and the smell is so refreshing.

  62. Steve Sparkman says:

    How long will it take a linden tree to bloom. I planted a greenspire linden last year and it hasn’t bloomed yet?

  63. Margaret Morris says:

    We just returned from an RV outing at Taidnapam Park on Riffe Lake in Southwest Washington State. There were three trees across the road from us that filled the whole area in the most wonderful sweet scent. I was born and raised in Western Washington and in all of my 66 years I have never seen this tree or smelled this intoxicating fragrance! I took pictures of the leaves and flowers and did an online search for “Trees With Heart Shaped Leaves” and the pictures I found lead me to this site. I’m tickled to have satisfied my curiosity. I didn’t find aphids on the trees, but the trunks were totally covered in little holes from sap suckers. There were many yellow shafted flickers in the area. A GOOD many of the holes were filled with mason bees! With the decline in the honey bee population here in the Northwest, that’s a good thing!

  64. Philippa Drake says:

    I have just returned to New Zealand after a month in Europe where I was completely intoxicated by these beautiful, fragrant trees.I have never seen them here.

  65. I just smelled this for the first time tonight! In Canal Park in Duluth, MN, where I live. Wasn’t sure what it was. Amazing smell! I could’ve kept sniffing the tree but probably would’ve been thought to be crazy! 🙂 Smells kind of like Honeysuckle.

  66. Smells like jizz if you ask me…

  67. shama ahmed says:

    I had the privilege to visit the Dordogne in July of last year and saw these beautiful trees in Perigueux. The scent was out of this world! I live in Holland and wonder if the climate and soil would suit this tree.

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  72. Anastasia says:

    Have had the pleasure of this unforgettable scent for the last couple of days in the streets of Lisbon Portugal where they have been planted as street trees.
    So happy to have been able to identify the tree responsible for my joy

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  74. Yasmin Akhtar says:

    Beautiful fragrant flowers I ever have smelled. Many, many times i go outside to smell flowers. I keep liden tree flowers in bedroom and enjoy 24hrs.

  75. richard says:

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  76. Mickey Mouse says:

    A good part of neighborhood has many of these trees around, some very big. I was riding my bicycle through the streets & it was intoxicatingly delicious, made the early summer a real dream!!

  77. Was walking down a street on Glendale, NY yesterday and these trees lined the streets. The fragrance smells to me a little like honeysuckle or raspberry bush.I found it strong but pleasant.

  78. We had a tree the city planted in front of our house that died. Since our last name means “of the Linden tree” we asked them if they could plant a Linden tree. Thankfully they said yes. Our tree is beautiful! The problem I have is with my husband always wanting to trim it. I cringe every time I see him with the clippers and know what he is up to. He just now trimmed it and I am so sad. He says he needs to be able to mow under there, and I wonder why the tree can’t just stay natural and not be trimmed? We could put rock underneath it or something? I feel for the tree and think that someday it will hate us for all that trimming and just die on us. He should care that his last name means “of the Linden tree” and not “trimmer of the Linden tree!” arggg. Why why why??

  79. Kathleen says:

    I have one of these trees that is about 80 years old here in Upstate NY. It’s blooms are intoxicating in the spring. One question though; about the “seeds” that it drops by the thousands in the summer, my dog (GSD/Dingo mix) LOVES them! and often gets quite “sleepy” after ingesting them. Anyone know of any toxicity of the fruit?

  80. My Mother was introduced to Little Leaf Lindens in lower Wisconsin. In her memory, my wife and I planted a little leaf Linden tree. That was 25 years ago. There had been no blossoms nor perfumes that many of your writers have written about. Two years ago their tiny buds opened for the first time.They produced beautiful white blossoms all over Our Linden Tree along with the most unbeatable aromas and perfumes we had ever enjoyed in our woods. .

    The next description you will probably not believe but it is true! Within 3 to 4 days dozens AND DOZENS AND MORE DOZENS of full grown trees turned out to be LITTLE LEAF LINDENS! We had no inkling of these trees since none of these trees had produced blossoms nor perfumes in the past years.

    We did NOT use any special additions or chemicals to the soil. It had been a dry year but
    but we have wet year and dry years and all kinds of rain years.

    Have any of your staff or subscribers had this happen or heard of it happening?

    Edward Paulson

  81. Hi Edward – What a happy story. (I had to chuckle when you mentioned my “staff” — it’s just me writing this website.) Lindens can take many years to bloom — so glad yours finally did, along with so many other “surprise” trees.

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  84. Yes! We have a good-sized linden (or lime, as Peep #1’s grandmother used to call it) in the front yard. The peep beams with pride when she looks at the tree which she grew from seed.

    Not great for climbin’ (I am a cat)… Actually, who am I kiddin’? Totally useless for climbin’ but the peep says the scent of the flowers is Heavenly.

    Our tree bloomed a bit last year but we all have high hopes that next year, it will do better. Those flowers…. Peep #1 says there is NOTHIN’ like them when it comes to fragrance. Nothin’ this side of Heaven, anyway.


  85. I know this is a very late comment, but I enjoyed your blog entry. We move here two years ago to find the streets in our neighborhood lined with mature Linden trees (I do not know which variety). They were planted when the neighborhood was built 35 years ago.

    The fragrance in early summer is indeed intoxicating. Not a parfum, but rather a spicy sweetness that hangs lightly in the air and makes a person want to spend all day reading in a hammock under the tree. The trees have a handsome, full head, are sturdy and disease-resistant, and the flower bracts stay on all summer, adding to the ornamental value. They have a sturdy branching pattern, so the trees are also interesting in winter.

    Aurora, CO

  86. My sister recently lost her husband, this year, his name was “Linden”.
    He loved to feed the birds and she loves to sip tea, so I thought it would be a great Christmas gift, to plant in honor of him.
    They are very pricey. The cheapest I’ve found is $75.00
    Would anyone be willing to send me one that I could give to her for Christmas?
    Researching best variety for Texas.
    Tilia Tomentosa = Silver Linden, Zones 6-9 and do they smell heavenly, too?
    The other alternative would be to give her seeds.
    Open to any thoughts or comments on best variety to search for.

  87. This year my Red and Silver Maple trees have produced an abundance of seeds. Is it possible to grow healthy trees from these seeds? If so, do you have any tips for me? I have gathered them in zip lock bags.

  88. I lived in Italy for 10 years and it never ceased to amaze me when I got off a bus from the airport how sweetly scented the air was in town. It literally hit you as you stepped off the bus a warm engulfing waft of perfume. The cafe in the park had tables under these trees….you can imagine how lovely it was, especially pronounced in the heat of the sun.

  89. Sunny O'Neal says:

    I live in NW Arkansas, & was recently (6-2-15) on the campus of Univ of Ark walking near ‘Old Main’ when I stopped & looked around to try to discover the source of this wonderful fragrance wafting around me. No apparent blooms were immediately discerned, then I found it. A group of very lovely trees with tiny delicate blossoms. The amazing contrast of tiny slender light green leaves interspersed plentifully among the larger dark green heart-shaped leaves was a surprising sight. But the wonderful light scent . . . . reminiscent of night-blooming jasmine . . . so light and wonderful. I plucked a small branch ( apologizing to the tree profusely ) & went in search of someone who could enlighten me as to the identity ( they really should put signs there ). So much to admire about these trees, & so happy to know they are so widespread & long-lived & beneficial in so many ways. Thank you for providing this outlet for us to share our stories with the world regarding our ‘discovery’ of this wonderful gift from nature . . .

  90. Bette Stephens says:

    Feeling so grateful for the sweet fragrence and beauty of the Linden Trees in blossom ~ passed by many while out for a bike ride this forenoon in Wausau, WI. Yes, Sunny, their intoxicating fragrence does remind me of jasmine! The delicate sweetness of the Linden blossom tea is a welcomed taste treat in the colder months.

  91. Gabriele Swift says:

    I just smelt my first Linden tree and I’m taking by the wonderful aroma. I will plant one in my backyard to hopefully enjoy it for many years to come.Like your webside

  92. Lindens in my condo development finally reached “enough” maturity to really bloom well and start to put out a great scent a few years ago. Oddest thing–did not notice anyone else mentioning it–is the moths that come to feed on the nectar. They do not mind being out in daylight so much as other moths. And there are hundreds of them per tree! Clap your hands while standing under a tree and they all fly and and re-settle on the flowers. There’s info on various sites about what these are. I think they may be Army worm moths–they look like that pic–vs. gypsy moths. They can be annoying at times, but it’s a real “thing” to watch them dart about. And some birds who eat moths are in heaven!

  93. Messiest tree ever!!! Good shade but it is making a huge mess. I wish the greedy business people who sell trees would be more honest what they sell you. This tree is huge for our small yard. I like the tree but yuk the messes it makes… This is the first year we’ve ever experienced the flowering… Is that normal. We’ve had the thing for 8-10 yrs.. Never dealt with this… Ewh,, may have to remove the tree…

  94. My Linden tree is in full bloom and has the strong aroma and is full of butterflies or moths – hundreds of them. They are black with a red strip and some white dots. What are they? I have always seen bees in the tree but never butterflies. My tree is about 17 years old and not real big but healthy. I did not know any thing about the tree and I only planted it because my dad’s middle name was Linden.
    Anyway, are these moths or butterflies? They are fun to watch.

  95. I love our Linden, It is in bloom now and I love the aroma! It s a most beautiful tree, about 11 years old., and has really grown quickly over the past 2 or 3 years, It is on our curb patch and I love to look out the front door and just gaze at its beauty.

  96. Elfrieda: don’t be mad about the dead bees because this is old news! There were big protests and we now have a pesticide ban in place here. Portland city government is very responsive. You should also be happy to know that Portland has many organic bee hives…there are 3 on my block alone (one mine) and Portlanders are flower crazy. Bees are very secure here.
    NANOU: which village in France has the oldest Lindens? Sounds like a good destination to me!
    SHAMA AHMED: I lived in Holland &climate is fine for Lindens. I just don’t know if they appreciate being grown in sand….but then I was always surprised by how many tress could and did grow in that soil!

  97. I was walking around in a nice quant neighborhood the other day and I smelled something that was so heavenly. I looked all around, in everyone’s gardens and all I saw was a small miniature rose bush. While roses do smell nice, I knew that wasn’t wear the scent was coming from. Well as soon as I looked up, I found my source. Oh My, this is by far, now one of my favorites… I have to plant a few on my property….

  98. I have a silver linden on my parkway. If I could cut it down today I would but the village won’t let me. It IS an attractive tree but it sheds leaves and sone kind of flower pods all summer long. Makes a horrible constant mess in the yard with no discernible benefit. If you value a well kept and manicured yard DON’T PLANT THIS TREE!!

  99. several years age our family was in Castine, Maine. One evening my wife and I were walking around the town and faintly heard a buzzing sound. As we walked on the buzzing got louder, a sweet smell could be detected. Both got stronger as we walked on and very soon we were under a Linden. Literally thousands of bees and a smell which is still with us. We now have one on our property in Nova Scotia.

  100. Gabrielle says:


    I first smelled the intoxicating smell of lindens in my father’s hometown in Germany, when I visited it two summers ago. I’d give anything to be able to plant a linden tree in my own backyard, but it’s too small for such a towering beauty.

  101. I believe this is what my grandmother harvested from treees right in the middle of Berlin, where they lined the streets. We were there in August and she though they were “Tilleul” (she’s French) which is very close to what I have seen listed as its genus (Tilla). This must be it! If it is, it is a great sleepytime tea.

  102. So where in the Southern New hampshire region can I buy 3 3-4″ Tilia Tomanosas?

  103. Hello,
    Yes , myself and my wife were biking through Burlington, VT one summer and we came upon this beautiful scent! Asked a local what was producing this smell and he informed us it was the blvd. of Linden trees. We have been looking for one for our yard. We are in a residential area, limited space. Is there a smaller version, say a 10-15ft or a dwarf type. We would really appreciate any help you could provide!

    Thank You!

  104. I am looking to have a Linden tree to connect with.
    I will not be purchasing one.
    However, I would like to know where I can find one
    or a few in a natural settling in Southern PA, York County preferred.
    that I can commune with during this years seasons.

    Many Thanks

  105. Victoria Gennaro says:

    Hi: I really enjoyed reading your blog/ post on Linden Trees. My sister Julie (who recently passed away) spoke often of these tree and how much she loved their scent. She lived in Spokane, WA. I’ve been searching for Linden Trees ever since she mentioned them–without success. Would you happen to know of any products (such as scented candles) that would feature the Linden Tree Scent. I would love to have this fragrance as a reminder of my most beloved sister. Thanks so very much for reading this.

  106. I have one in my front yard — we planted it when we moved in 50 years ago. It’s very hardy, beautiful and shady. Beautiful tree with fragrant flowers no other tree has–We love it!

  107. Lorraine Baptista says:

    Love our old silver Linden tree in the front yard. It does smell honey sweet in warm July!
    Gorgeous in the evening!

  108. Cheryl Ben-David says:

    The trees in downtown Omaha are incredibly fragrant, as if you’ve entered into the perfume department! Magnificent fragrance and can’t wait to plant one in our backyard in New England.

    Wonder if it can be dwarfed by placing in a pot?

  109. I remember the one tree in New Haven on the Yale campus that made everyone stop in their tracks beneath. This week, at a friend’s garden in Rome, again that miracle.

    The linden figures in two of my poems.

  110. Angela Dina says:

    Does anyone know which linden tree is more fragrant? I had one in my backyard at my older house and the flowers were not very fragrant. When I walk in my neighborhood there are linden trees that have stronger fragrance than mine. I like the tree and I would like to buy another one but I don’t know which gives more fragrance.

    Thank you.

  111. Fascinating tree, so fragrant it makes you stop and smell and look around to see where is this fragrance is coming from. Spectacular.

  112. I just returned from Rousse, Bulgaria where the linden trees were blooming and fragrant. What a lovely smell!

  113. Rita Lynch says:

    Looking forward to taking a walk on Hampstead Heath soon to my favourite tree.

    Linden blossoms 
    by the Czech poet Jeffrey Dolezal Hrbek

    O the scent of the limes on the linden tree!
    How it brings the love-days back to me,
    How it wakens the mem’ries of long ago
    Of summer months with their sunlit glow
    And the hum of bees in pastures green
    And the purling of streams that wound between,
    And sequestered haunts we used to know
    When we were young in the Long Ago.

  114. I LOVE the scent of the linden tree. I can always smell them before seeing them! Their fragrance wafts through the breeze…LOVE IT! I found this site trying to find a way to capture the fragrance in an essence or make my own perfume somehow…need to find out how to extract the smell as God only gave us this divine fragrance for a brief moment each spring/summer.

  115. Liz Pamerleau says:

    Why doesn’t my linden tree blossom? I planted it three years ago.

  116. Greg George says:

    I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. Of course, as a kid, I had no idea what I might be smelling on a summer;s evening.

    Having moved away, I had occasion to drive through the area (closer to west Indianapolis) last night, and I was suddenly awash in both the glorious scent of the Linden, and in memories of days gone by. What a powerful ability volatile organoleptics have to influence our emotions, memories and feelings.

    I’m sure its been suggested before, but it strikes me that I should carry around some various aromas in tubes in my pocket. Then, when I have a great and memorable experience, I should open them up to link the feeling and the scent.

    Will re-smelling these scents evoke linked memories of 50 years ago, as it did for me in the Linden cloud last night?

  117. Rita Lynch says:

    Janet, Jo Malone has a cologne which captures the fragrance perfectly……
    “French Lime Blossom”.

  118. We are privileged to have two beautiful Lindens.
    They are probably 25 years old. The fragrance is so sweet.
    I love how I can stand under these stately trees while the Bees are active, and not be stung.

  119. Cherrilynn Wilcox says:

    I love my Little Leaf Linden tree. I purchases it for the flowers and fragrance. It is very healthy and is now about 10 to 12 feet tall. However, it is not producing flowers, and therefore, no fragrance. How can I get my Linden tree to flower?

  120. I own a beautiful old victorian home in NY and we inherited a beautiful 50 ft Linden Tree when we bought this home. the fragrance that comes from this tree is amazing. everyone should have the pleasure of having a Linden tree in their backyard or planted somewhere in their neighborhood. I open all my windows when it is in bloom and the fragrance comes right into my home.

  121. Due to the damage in our neighborhood from the 2011 tornado, the city came along and planted all new Little Leaf Linden Trees all around the area. I purchased my home in 2013 – LUCKY ME to have the pleasure of adopting two of them in my front yard. Love the smell and watching them grow… I’d guess they are appox. 12 – 15 feet tall now – and they smell heaven;y during this time of the year. Mine are in full bloom here in Western MA.

  122. Rochelle Johnson says:


    We were all standing outside of our community pool wondering where the beautiful fragrance was originating from. If you took 5 steps beyond the tree one way or another the fragrance abruptly stops. We were walking back and forth looking for the source. It truly is an enchanting scent!

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