The clones of common lime (Tilia×vulgaris Hayne) planted in England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries



Most avenues of limes planted in England and Wales during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century contain two distinct clonal types of common lime (Tilia×vulgaris Hayne). They differ in many morphological characters.

Clonal group A has a fluted trunk with epicormic bosses or sprouts, a conical crown, scarlet, shining, ellipsoid overwintering buds, bright green leaves with obliquely asymmetric bases, long bracts narrowed to both ends and inflorescences normally of seven flowers. Clonal group B has a cylindrical trunk which is almost without epicormic buds or shoots, a hemispherical crown, crimson, pruinose, ovoid and sub-acute buds, more or less cordate, dull green leaves, bracts narrowed to the stalk but broadly rounded at the distal end, and inflorescences with 3–5 flowers.

Clonal group A includes the Dutch clones ‘Pallida’ and ‘Koningslinde’. Clonal group B is closely related to, but not identical with, the Dutch clone ‘Svartelinde’.

Both clonal groups were probably originally imported from the Netherlands and were possibly derived from ancient village trees, which in the Netherlands are usually T. ×vulgaris.