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Contorted Linden*

Tilia platyphyllos 'Tortuosa'

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Contorted Linden (Tilia platyphyllos 'Tortuosa') at Alsip Home and Nursery

Contorted Linden

Contorted Linden

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  40 feet

Spread:  30 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Other Names:  Bigleaf Lime


An unusual tree to say the least, with twisted and contorted young branches best seen close up or in winter to get the full effect; otherwise a neat and tidy shade tree with an attractive pyramidal habit of growth, worth seeking out

Ornamental Features

Contorted Linden features subtle clusters of fragrant yellow flowers with tan bracts hanging below the branches in late spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The heart-shaped leaves turn yellow in fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The twisted gray bark and brown branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Contorted Linden is a deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting bees to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects

Contorted Linden is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Contorted Linden will grow to be about 40 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 6 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Flowers  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features