Wednesday, June 23, 2010
the lime trees of hampton court!
Tilia vulgaris - Lime
This photo was taken in the great fountain garden at hampton court, orginally a parkland, this area was added to the palace gardens by William III and Mary II. I was struck by the amazingly clipped lime trees... and here is a bit information on them that I was able to uncover!
Many of the lime trees in Britain are hybrids between the large-leaved lime and the small-leaved lime species. This impressive tree grows to a height of 45 metres, making it one of the tallest broad-leaved trees in Britain, and it has a sprouting bole. In towns these trees attract aphids, which deposit sticky honeydew droppings on cars (and on people!) beneath them.
Tilia flowers are used medicinally for colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. New evidence shows that the flowers may be hepatoprotective. The flowers were added to baths to quell hysteria, and steeped as a tea to relieve anxiety-related indigestion, irregular heartbeat, and vomiting. The leaves are used to promote sweating to reduce fevers. The wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). That wood burned to charcoal is ingested to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat edema or infection such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg.
A medieval love poem by Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170–c. 1230) starts with a reference to the Tilia tree:
Under the Tilia tree
on the open field,
where we two had our bed,
you still can see
broken flowers and grass.
On the edge of the woods in a vale,
sweetly sang the nightingale.