Littleleaf Linden Tilia cordata 'Greenspire'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
small-leaved lime 'Greenspire'


The 'Greenspire' is a cultivar of the small-leaved lime. It is an attractive deciduous tree with a neat, conical shape that makes it a popular choice for avenues and street plantings. The dark green, heart-shaped leaves demonstrate a fine point at the tip and are glossy, providing a lush, dense canopy that turns a golden-yellow in fall. Come early summer, the tree produces small, fragrant flowers that are pale yellow, which contribute to its ornamental value. These delicate blooms attract bees and are a source of tasty honey. The flowers are followed by small, round fruits that are inconspicuous and often go unnoticed against the dense foliage. The bark of this lime tree is smooth and gray when young, gradually becoming more fissured with age. This particular cultivar is esteemed for its uniformity and the elegance it brings to the urban and garden landscapes, where its more manageable size and adaptability to pruning are greatly valued.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Small-Leaved Lime, Littleleaf Linden, Greenspire Linden

    • Common names

      Tilia parvifolia, Tilia ulmifolia, Tilia bohemica, Tilia europaea, Tilia sylvestris, Tilia vulgaris.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Littleleaf Linden is not considered toxic to humans. In fact, various parts of the plant, such as the flowers, have been used in traditional medicine and for making teas. There are no well-documented cases of poisoning or harmful effects from ingesting the Littleleaf Linden in normal food quantities.

    • To pets

      The Littleleaf Linden is generally recognized as safe for pets. It does not contain toxic substances that are harmful to dogs or cats, and there is no evidence suggesting that normal contact or incidental ingestion of the leaves or flowers would lead to poisoning in pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      40 feet 12 meters (12m)

    • Spread

      35 feet 10 meters (10m)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Shade provider - The 'Greenspire' Littleleaf Linden offers ample shade with its dense foliage, making it ideal for parks and large gardens.
    • Aesthetic appeal - With its heart-shaped leaves and symmetrical canopy, it adds visual interest and beauty to any landscape.
    • Drought tolerance - Once established, it has a moderate tolerance to drought, requiring less frequent watering.
    • Urban adaptability - It's resilient to urban pollution and can thrive in city environments with minimal maintenance.
    • Wildlife habitat - The tree attracts bees, butterflies, and birds, providing nectar and nesting sites.
    • Seasonal interest - In addition to its summer greenery, it offers fragrant yellow-white flowers in early summer and attractive yellow autumn foliage.
    • Longevity - The 'Greenspire' is a long-lived tree, providing benefits for many years once it matures.
    • Erosion control - Its extensive root system helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes.
    • Winter hardiness - It has a good resistance to winter damage and can withstand cold temperatures.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Tilia cordata 'Greenspire', like other linden species, has been traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Anxiolytic and Sedative: The flowers of the plant are sometimes used for their calming effects, which can help alleviate anxiety and promote sleep.
    • Diaphoretic: Linden flowers can induce sweating and are traditionally used to relieve fever.
    • Antispasmodic: The plant has been used to help reduce muscle spasms and cramps.
    • Expectorant: Linden flowers are also known to help in expelling mucus from the respiratory tract and easing coughs.
    • Diuretic: It has been used to promote the production of urine which can aid in detoxification and relieve water retention.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The small-leaved lime tree is often planted in urban environments for its tolerance to pollution and its ability to survive in compacted soils.
    • Wood from the small-leaved lime is soft and lightweight, making it suitable for intricate carving and is often used by sculptors and woodworkers.
    • In historical instrument-making, the small-leaved lime's wood was prized for its acoustic properties and used for making lutes and other stringed instruments.
    • The inner bark of the small-leaved lime, known as bast, can be processed into a fiber for making rope or woven into mats and baskets.
    • Beekeepers highly value the small-leaved lime for its nectar, as it attracts bees and contributes to the production of a richly flavored honey.
    • The small-leaved lime's flowers can be dried and added to potpourri mixes for their pleasant scent and decorative appearance.
    • Leaves from the small-leaved lime can be used as a natural dye, providing colors ranging from yellow to a creamy off-white, depending on the mordant used.
    • In marquetry and veneer-making, the small-leaved lime's wood, with its fine grain and pale color, is a popular choice for detailed inlay work on furniture.
    • Children can use the seed pods and leaves in craft projects, such as making leaf rubbings or natural collages, due to their distinctive heart shape and texture.
    • The small-leaved lime tree is occasionally used in agroforestry practices, providing shade for crops or livestock in integrated farming systems.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Small-leaved Lime is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Small-leaved Lime is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love: The Tilia cordata, commonly known as the Linden tree or Small-leaved Lime, is often associated with love and fertility, possibly due to the heart-shaped leaves and the tree's historic use in matrimonial ceremonies and decorations.
    • Peace: In European folklore, the Linden tree is seen as a symbol of peace and tranquility. Its presence in village squares and courts of justice in Germany and the Slavic countries was an indication of a peaceful gathering place.
    • Community: The Linden was traditionally planted in town centers to signify the heart of the community, serving as a gathering spot for communal meetings and celebrations, thus symbolizing unity and togetherness.
    • Justice: In Germanic cultures, the Linden tree is connected to judicial matters. Judgments were often issued under its branches, signifying fairness and the pursuit of truth.
    • Healing: Known for its medicinal properties, the Linden tree symbolizes healing and health. Its flowers have been used to make teas that soothe anxiety and promote relaxation.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Little Leaf Linden (Greenspire Linden) should be watered deeply and thoroughly to ensure even soil moisture, which is critical during its establishment phase for the first few years after planting. During this period, water it once a week with about 1.5 to 2 gallons of water if there isn't sufficient rain. After establishment, water it every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the weather conditions, with the same amount, unless the plant is situated in particularly dry or sandy soil which may require more frequent watering. In very hot or drought-like conditions, increase the frequency of watering to prevent stress.

  • sunLight

    For the Greenspire Linden, full sun to partial shade is ideal, meaning it requires at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight a day. It is adaptable but thrives best in a spot where it receives ample sunlight during the day, which promotes healthy growth and bloom production.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Greenspire Little Leaf Linden can withstand a wide range of temperatures but thrives in environments where average summer temperatures do not typically exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter temperatures do not fall below -30 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal growing temperatures for this tree are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very cold-hardy and can tolerate the lower temperatures typical of the northern United States.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Greenspire Linden is essential for removing dead or broken branches, shaping the tree, and opening up the canopy to allow light and air penetration, which helps maintain its health. It should be pruned in the late winter to early spring when the tree is dormant. Remove any damaged limbs, suckers, and any crossing branches to maintain a strong structure. Annual or biennial pruning is often sufficient.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Littleleaf Linden thrives in well-drained, fertile, loamy soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. A balanced mix of two parts loam, one part peat, and one part sharp sand will support its growth, ensuring adequate drainage and nutrient retention.

  • plantRepotting

    Littleleaf Lindens are large trees and once established in the landscape, they typically do not require repotting.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Littleleaf Linden is adaptable but prefers moderate humidity levels, mimicking its natural woodland habitat.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow Littleleaf Linden indoors with large space, bright indirect light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Littleleaf Linden in full sun to partial shade, sheltered from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of Tilia cordata 'Greenspire', commonly known as the 'Greenspire' Littleleaf Linden, begins with seed germination, typically occurring in spring under favorable conditions of moisture and temperature. After germination, the seedling grows into a young sapling, which then progressively matures over several years into a robust tree with a strong central trunk and a rounded crown. During its maturation, 'Greenspire' develops heart-shaped, dark green leaves and in early to mid-summer, it blooms with fragrant, yellow-white flowers which are highly attractive to bees. Following pollination, the tree produces small nutlets attached to a leafy bract, which, when mature, disperse to propagate the next generation. As a deciduous tree, the 'Greenspire' Linden experiences annual cycles of leaf growth in spring, followed by leaf senescence and abscission in fall. Throughout its lifetime, which can span several centuries, the tree undergoes regular periods of growth and dormancy, adapting to the seasonal changes in its environment.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Tilia cordata 'Greenspire', commonly known as the Littleleaf Linden, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This technique is generally carried out in the late summer after the current season's growth has started to harden. For optimal results, select healthy, disease-free branches and make cuttings that are 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) in length. Each cutting should have at least two to three sets of leaves, and the bottom set of leaves should be removed. The cut end of the cutting can be dipped in rooting hormone to enhance root development before being placed in a well-drained medium such as a mix of peat and perlite. The cuttings should be kept moist and in a warm, indirect light until roots have established, after which they can be transferred to individual pots or directly into the nursery row.