11

Japanese Lime

Tilia japonica ‘Ernest Wilson’

450720AJ_DSC0403.jpg

Like our Paperbark Maple at Melbourne Hall, this variety of Japanese lime is another tree discovered by the famous plant hunter Ernest Wilson. There are, in fact, sixty species that bare his name.

465868AJ_DSC6064.jpg
450802AJ_DSC0488.jpg

This Lime variety can grow to about 15 metres tall. Its leaves have a very soft texture, which, with a bit of imagination, are shaped like a heart. In the right conditions, they turn a bright shade of mustard yellow in autumn. 

It is a very free-flowering tree, with clusters of white, scented flowers in the summer, which permeate the garden. This abundance of flowering is particularly valuable in providing nectar and pollen for all kinds of pollinators. 

The leaves contain many minerals, and in autumn when they fall, they are favoured by earthworms. Whereas it may take up to two years for a beech leaf to decompose, a leaf from a lime tree is usually broken down into rich humus within a few months, feeding the soil.

469661AJ_DSC2079.jpg

All photography copyright © Andrea Jones

QR interpretation service © Garden Exposures