Limeflower – Tilia Cordata (small-leaved lime), otherwise known as the Linden tree.
The lime tree (Tilia cordata) grows all over Europe. Relatively inconspicuous most of the year, despite their size, limes come into their own in July. When their flowers open against delicate bracts, sweet fragrance fills the air and bees buzz in among their branches.
The honey made from lime pollen is especially good, do try some if you get a chance. You may be surprised to find it has a slightly minty flavour, absolutely delicious.
Also known as the linden tree, limes are said to date back 70 million years.
Taste lime flower
A simple way to try tasting limeflower yourself is by steeping a few sprigs in boiling water to make a tea.
In France this is a traditional bedtime drink, enjoyed from childhood onward – it’s probable the calming effects of limeflower tea have helped the health of French hearts more than red wine. It’s a good drink to have if you’ve a cold or flu as it promotes perspiration.
Traditional tall tales
Linden trees feature in many traditional folk stories, like the Herman Hesse tale of ‘The Three Linden Trees’. He describes them as intertwining into a gigantic crown. Read the story and you’ll find out the tree’s association with innocence.
Limeflower is one of the most helpful of skincare plants. Skin-conditioning, helping soothe skin and smooth out tiny wrinkles, it also fades freckles and improves circulation.
Summer every day
Using limeflowers brings the heart of summer into every day.
Known as ‘tileul’ in perfumery, it is used in many classic scents helping recall a bright summer’s day.
Parts to use
Use the flowers and their bracts. The flowers are at their best when just open and the stamens are full of pollen.
Avoid old flowers when making preparations as they may produce symptoms of mild intoxication.
How to find, grow, harvest
Limeflowers bloom and can be gathered for just a few short weeks in July, so do head out and find your local trees while you can. Collect the flowers and the bracts, they’re best when just open and the stamens are full of pollen.
Blend it Yourself Skincare
Limeflower is one of the essential summer herbs infused in Field Fresh Skincare’s Summer Garden Handcream. Blending this yourself from the kit you can create the wonderful aroma of lime flower in your own kitchen.