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Tilia japonica ‘Ernest Wilson’

For sale by Bluebell Nursery

This grower is sure of this plant identification.

Tilia japonica 'Ernest Wilson' is perhaps the most freely flowering lime with even young plants bearing masses of pendant, ivory-white, fragrant flowers in mid-summer, filling the air with a delightful scent.

Leaves are light green, heart-shaped, quite coarsely toothed and in a good autumn turn a rich mustard-yellow.

A lovely and unusual tree suitable for most gardens and woodland areas.

Supplied Size: 4L container (40 - 60 cm tall)

Copyright 2013 © Bluebell Arboretum & Nursery

Tilia japonica  ‘Ernest Wilson’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Tilia japonica  ‘Ernest Wilson’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Tilia japonica  ‘Ernest Wilson’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Pot SizeTotal Price
4 litres

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Grower Notes

Position: Full sun.
Soil: Moist or well drained, fertile soil.
Hardiness: Hardy.
Flowering Period: June - July
Flower Colour: Ivory white
Rate of Growth: Moderate.
Habit: Medium sized branching tree.
Height: 15 m (50 ft)
Spread: 15 m (50 ft)

The flowers of a specimen in our own arboretum fill the air around it with its delightful scent.

This rare Linden or Lime was introduced from Japan by Ernest Wilson in 1919. For many years it has been cultivated in the west as Tilia insularis, a species actually from Cheju-do, off South Korea but recent research by Professor Donald Pigott suggests that the original plant was collected in Japan.

In Britain it will grow into a medium sized, very free flowering tree with up to 36 flowers per inflorescence. The fragrant ivory white flowers are borne profusely in midsummer and in autumn the leaves turn to shades of golden yellow.

Ernest Wilson was born in Chipping Campden in 1876. He first went to China plant hunting for the famous English nursery firm of Veitch in 1899. This trip lasted for three years and subsequently he returned for two further trips to China on behalf of the Arnold Arboretum, Massachusetts, earning himself the nickname of 'Chinese Wilson'.

He continued plant hunting for many years, collecting in Taiwan, Korea and Japan. He, and his wife were killed in a car accident in Massachusetts in 1930.

Extract from an information poster in our arboretum

Plant Finder: about Tilia japonica ‘Ernest Wilson’

Common names

Japanese Lime


Tilia japonica ‘Ernest Wilson’ (Japanese Lime). This tree used to be known as Tilia insularis. and has pale green leaves with a very soft texture, heart-shaped and toothed, which turn bright yellow in autumn. This is also a very free-flowering tree, with clusters of white, scented flowers in the summer.


They are fully hardy and require sun or semi-shade with fertile, well drained soil.

Interest and use

Grown for foliage interest and its scented flowers.

Italics = data drawn from parent genus or species

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Tilia japonica  ‘Ernest Wilson’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65 | Copyright Greenplantswap 2019
  • LightFull sun or Part shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilWell drained, Fertile
  • Soil pH7.0 to 9.0
  • WaterSemi-moist or Moist

Meet the grower

Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
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