Thursday, August 27, 2015

Basswood, Linden, Honey-tree...

Basswood leaves, seeds and bracts (unfinished; it turns out there is NOT enough time in the day to do all that I want to do and all that I need to do and also sleep -- which I guess is a need and a want -- so... unfinished drawings. Ah, well.  At least I'm drawing.)
Call it what you will, the seeds of the basswood are starting to disperse.  I used to think that the bracts were instrumental in seed dispersal, similar to the wings of a maple seed.  But in fact, many of the bracts stay on the tree and the seeds fall off independently, as happened with the missing seeds in the picture above.  The bracts may actually function to attract pollinators to the flowers earlier in the year; and seed dispersal's most likely vector, besides gravity, is animals.  (When the seeds sprout into baby trees, the seedleaves are crazy -- nothing at all like the leaves of the tree shown above... but that's not happening yet!)

I guess it would be negligent not to explain the title.  Growing up on the north shore, I called these trees linden trees, but apparently this is a fairly localized common name for what most people call the basswood.  (My husband had no idea what I was talking about when I referenced a linden).  And many people call them honey-trees, due to the sticky sap that drips from them... as anyone who has ever parked their car under one well understands.  I guess we could clear up confusion and just say Tilia americana, but that's no fun...


  1. Naomi, I think your blog is fantastic, and I've been retweeting it religiously on Twitter under @living_Almanac. One of my followers there recently told me:
    "I went to her blog post, and a weird pop-up came on with signs of impending takeover of my phone. Cool blog...too bad."
    Not sure why this would come up for her or if this is just her phone's issue, not your website's -- but I thought I'd send you a heads-up just in case.

    1. thanks, I've not heard about that as an issue from anyone else, so... I don't know!