The name derives from an Indo-European linden root, Tilia, taken from Latin and was given the name tilleul in French, tilt in Spanish, linde in German, lippa in Slovenian and linden or lime tree in English. These same roots formed the name Tagliamento, the “river of the linden trees”. Today this tree is particularly regarded across all Central and Eastern Europe and in the past was considered sacred. The Greeks knew the calming properties of the flowers and using these agents grew during the time of Cronos, the god of time, in the golden age. They also knew about what was used to produce a book (the part between the bark and the wood) which they called Philyra, in which they made paper, mats, frames, wreaths and garlands from. The bark that remained malleable for twenty or thirty years contains fibers that after being immersed in water to soak were separated with “scutching” (a method to separate the valuable fibers of flax, for example), from the woody parts by beating, to obtain coarse fabrics and cords. “All parts of the linden tree are useful”, wrote the French naturalist Louis Ducharte Pier in 1848, In fact, the wood was used to sculpt, the leaves for fodder for livestock and even the sap was used to produce a sugar and a kind chocolate, thinly slicing fruits and some parts of flowers. The linden tree is also important in community pharmacopoeia, having slightly hypnotic and sedative properties. Its sapwood contains substances with hypotensive and antispasmodic effects.
The Greek historian Herodotus wrote in his stories that the Shiites drew prophecies by cutting three strips of bark rolling and unrolling between his fingers. Shamans were considered “male-female” and hence takes the feminine character of the Linden. In fact, In the saga of the Nibelungs after killing the dragon Fafnir, the guardian of the treasure of Odin, Sigfried takes a bath in the dragon’s blood to obtain invulnerability, but as he begins to wash, a linden leaf settles between his shoulder blades, creating a vulnerable point. A precise point of ‘femininity’ that will be fatal to him (an analogy with the Achilles’ heel).
In Scandinavian countries the lime tree is a tree and totemic ancestor of a clan. Linnaeus, the famous naturalist who devised the classification of nature, by coincidence owes his own name to the name of the lime. This tree is also a noble attribute which had been chosen and placed on paths and entrances that led to castles as a “tree of righteousness”.
The lime can get to a very antiquated age, even a thousand years and have a trunk circumference of up to 9 metres with heights exceeding twenty metres.
A tree, in short, of great cultural value that excellently symbolizes the issues that The Linden aims to offer quality products, give knowledge, emotion and beauty.