Tilia spp.

Despite being trimmed yearly, the lindens hang low along the Memorial Drive bike path, and I duck around them as I go.  Along the street on which I live, they sprout heavily from the lower trunk and roots, in some cases blocking much of the sidewalk.  In the courtyard on campus, this extra growth is hacked back by overzealous members of the grounds crew wielding weed whackers.

The leafy tongues that precede the flowers are showing now, light against the dark green leaves.  Later, they will become the twirling wing that carries the fruit away from the tree, prettier than the maple.  Between now and then are the flowers, powerful, sweet and fragrant.  Shortly after we moved in, D and I walked Commonwealth Avenue, from BU to downtown.  Along the way, we passed a garden producing a strong, lovely scent.  We spent several minutes testing the various flowers, trying to find the source, before we looked up and noticed the linden shading us.

The flowers make a wonderful tea; D partakes whenever we find it, which is sadly a rare event.  (Though as with so many things, it seems the internet can provide.)  It has much of the appeal of chamomile but has a much stronger and deeper flavor, not surprising given the overwhelming scent a single tree can provide.

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