American Basswood - Tilia americana

The Basswood is one of the lightest hardwoods and its odourless wood ensure its useful for many different purposes. A bath with Basswood flowers combined with a tea made from the same flowers is supposed to cure cold symptoms and act as a sleep aid. Although rabbits are a major pest to the American Basswood, it is still planted quite often as an ornamental due to its fragrant flowers and sizeable leaves.

Basswood Leaf
Basswood leaves are large and thick, with sharp, gland-tipped teeth. Photo by Sean Fox.

Basswood Tree
They can grow up to 35m in height, 1m in diameter and are able to live for 200 years. Photo by Chris Earley. 

Basswood Bark
The bark is greyish-brown with many narrow flat-topped ridges. Photo by Chris Earley.

Basswood Nuts
The American Basswood provides 8-12mm nut like capsules that are coated in brown hairs. Photo by Sean Fox.

Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted American Basswoods. 1995-1999.
Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted American Basswoods. 1995-1999.

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Farrar, J.L.. 1995. Trees in Canada. Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. Toronto. ON. 504 pp.  

Kershaw, L. 2001. Trees in Ontario: Including tall shrubs. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. AB. 240 pp

Muma, W. 2011. Ontario Trees and Shrubs. [Online] Available:

OMNR, 2011. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Ontario Tree Atlas. [Online] Available:

OMNR, 2008. Ontario’s Biodiversity: Species at Risk.