Tilia americana – American Linden

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The American Linden (Tilia americana) is a native tree with edible leaves, flowers, sap, and inner bark.
The American linden has finely serrated heart-shaped leaves. The flowers and seeds hang downward from elongated leafy bracts. The fragrant flowers bloom for about two weeks in the middle of the summer.
American linden leaf buds can be harvested in spring. They taste similar to snap peas. Leaves can be harvested spring-fall and used as a lettuce substitute. Leaves are best picked in spring when they are young and tender.
Mature seeds can be roasted and ground for a coffee substitute.
Flowers should be gathered right after they open. Flowers can be eaten raw or turned into a medicinal tea. Flowers have a floral taste with a hint of asparagus. Linden flower tea is said to be sedative and could be used to treat anxiety, colds, or the flu.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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