Any visit to Lakeside, Ohio is a welcome treat, but this weekend was even better than usual as the basswood (or linden) trees were in bloom. The native basswood, American Basswood is Tilia americana and there are several to be found in Lakeside. It is an Ohio native, displaying huge heart shaped leaves and small round fruits attached to a single "wing" in the fall.
However, most new plantings are Tilia cordata, or Littleleaf Linden. It is native to New York and parts north, and its much smaller size makes it attractive to landscapers and homeowners alike. Both are hardy, disease and pest resistant trees, which produce tiny and wonderfully fragrant flowers that most people never see! Let your nose help you do a little botanizing this week.
Here is an up-close view of the rarely noticed buds and flowers, which permeates the air with an incredibly sweet fragrance. Bees love this little flower and its lingering scent, and many beekeepers have special runs of pure basswood honey.
Also in the photo you may see a whisp of an insect, locally called a mayfly or Canadian soldier. They have a fascinating life history- but we'll save that for tommorrow . :)