Japanese Lime (Tilia japonica)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Japanese Lime
Tilia japonica

A fibre is obtained from the inner bark and used for sandals, cordage etc[46, 61, 189].

Wood – light, soft. Used for boxes, barrels etc[46, 61].

  • Medicinal Use

    A tea made from the flowers is antispasmodic, diaphoretic and sedative[226].

  • Edible Use

    Young leaves – raw or cooked[105, 177].

    Flowers – parboiled to remove the bitterness and used as greens or added to soups[183].

    A tea is made from the flowers[177, 183].

    Fruit[105, 183]. No further details are given. This report possibly refers to the fact that the seed and flowers of some species can be made into a chocolate substitute.

    A very good chocolate substitute is made from a paste of the ground fruits and flowers[2]. Trials on marketing the product failed because the paste decomposes readily[2].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – much of the seed produced in Britain is not viable, cut a few seedcases open to see if there is a seed inside[80]. If possible, obtain fresh seed that is ripe but has not as yet developed a hard seed coat and sow it immediately in a cold frame. It may germinate in the following spring though it could take 18 months[80]. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate. It has a hard seed coat, embryo dormancy and a hard coat on the pericarp. All these factors mean that the seed may take up to 8 years to germinate[80]. One way of shortening this time is to stratify the seed for 5 months at high temperatures (10¡c at night, up to 30¡c by day) and then 5 months cold stratification[80]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Layering in spring just before the leaves unfurl. Takes 1 – 3 years[78]. Suckers, when formed, can be removed with as much root as possible during the dormant season and replanted immediately[200].
Prefers a good moist loamy alkaline to neutral soil but succeeds on slightly acid soils[11, 200]. Grows poorly on any very dry or very wet soil[200]. Dislikes exposed positions[200]. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[188]. Prefers a continental climate, growing more slowly and not producing fertile seed in areas with cool summers[200]. Lime trees tend to hybridise freely if other members of the genus are growing nearby[238]. If growing plants from seed it is important to ensure the seed came from a wild source or from an isolated clump of the single species[K]. Grows best in a woodland situation, young plants tolerate a reasonable level of side shade[200]. The leaves appear early in the spring and are not troubled by frosts. Trees are usually attacked by aphids which cover the ground and the leaves with a sticky honeydew[188]. Cultivated for its wood in Japan[125]. A very good bee plant[125]. Quite tolerant of root disturbance, semi-mature trees up to 5 metres tall have been transplanted successfully. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
E. Asia – China, Japan.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.