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Brightfield Digital Image Gallery

Basswood (Tilia) Stem

The American Basswood (Tilia americana) is a hardwood tree found throughout the eastern half of North America, ranging from the northern Canadian Provinces all the way south to Florida. Many of the species can interbreed, making natural hybrids quite common.

View a high magnification image of a Basswood (Tilia) Stem.

Basswood is one of the most treasured ornamentals, having a tall, straight trunk and rounded crown. In the summer, its flowers fill the air with their fragrance as they attract bees to aid in pollination. The tree is a hardwood that is well-suited for growth in rich and fertile soils of the Northeast United States.

Basswood seeds and twigs are a popular food for wildlife and the flowers smell and taste like honey, attracting over 60 insect pollinators, especially honey bees. The soft, light-colored wood has an even grain, long favored by wood carvers. Native Americans used the fibrous inner bark to make rope, which was used to bind wounds and stitch mats made from cattail leaves.

Contributing Authors

Cynthia D. Kelly, Thomas J. Fellers and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.


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