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Small-leaved lime can be easily distinguished from the small-leaved lime by its leaves. They are small, heart-shaped, darker on top than underneath where they have tufts of rust-colored hair. The leaf surface, on the other hand, is smooth, almost leathery.

The leaves of the small-leaf linden are smaller than those of the small-leaved linden

Despite the name, the small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata) is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 30 meters high and very old. The small-leaved lime occurs naturally in mixed deciduous forests. People like to plant the small-leaved lime along the streets and in the green areas. Tilia cordata is distributed throughout Central Europe, further north and east than the small-leaved lime.

Leaves of the small-leaf linden - size, shape and color

You can tell the small-leaf linden from the small-leaved linden by looking at the leaves. The leaf of the small-leaved lime has the following characteristic features:

  • about 5-7 cm long and almost as wide,
  • heart-shaped to circular,
  • arranged alternately,
  • edge irregularly sawn,
  • twisted tip,
  • Petiole bare, about 2-5 cm long,
  • dark green and glossy on top,
  • blue-green underneath, with brown hairs.

A healthy tree can be recognized by its foliage

The small-leaved lime also tolerates shady locations well. In contrast to the summer linden, it does not need as much light. Its foliage does not form such a dense crown as can be observed on the small-leaved lime. You can see the sky from below because the leaves let more light through. In autumn, the leaves of the small-leaved linden turn yellow. The infestation of pests or fungi is often first recognized by the leaves, if they turn yellow or brown prematurely, get spots or holes or are dropped prematurely.


One of the famous small-leaved lime trees and a registered natural monument is the thousand-year-old lime tree that grows in the Elsthal in Luckenwalde and is estimated to be around 750 years old.

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