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Arbores, rariusve herbæ, calyce valvari deciduo; æstivatione corollæ quandoque imbricativa; staminibus sæpius indefinitis, discretis seu 5-adelphis, toro plerumque stipitiformi vel glanduloso insertis; antheris bilocularibus; granulis pollinis lævibus; fructu nunc abortu uniloculari : cætera fere Malvacearum.
TILIACEÆ, Juss. Gen. p. 290 (excl. gen.).
Kunth, Diss. Malv. p 14. Bartl. Ord. Nat. p. 338, Endl. Gen. p. 1004. Lindl.
Veg. Kingd. p. 371.
TILIACEÆ & ELÆOCARPEÆ , Juss. in Ann. Mus. II. p. 31. DC. Prodr. 1. p. 503,510. Wight, Ill. Ind. Bot. p. 79. t. 3335.
The LINDEN FAMILY, represented in the northern temperate zone by the well-known genus of handsome trees the name of which it bears, is however principally tropical. Of its thirty recognised genera, all but Tilia itself, and a single species of Corchorus, which barely reaches our southern frontiers, belong to the torrid zone and to the sultriest regions beyond the tropic of Capricorn. They are principally trees, oftern of great size and with handsome foliage and flowers; a few are shrubs, and fewer still are humble herbs.
In sensible properties, as well as in floral structure, Tiliaceæ nearly resemble the Mallow Family. They have a similar mucilaginous juice, a very tough inner bark, and are entirely destitute of unwholesome qualities. Some yield a succulent and edible fruit. The berries of Grewia sapida, &c., are pleasantly acid, and are ingredients of sherbet. The bark and foliage are more or less astringent. The wood is light and usually soft, but very fine-grained: that of Linden is much esteemed for wainscoting and carving. The excellent light timber called Trincomalee-wood, employed in the construction of the Massoola boats of Madras, is furnished by Berrya Ammonilla. Grewia elastica of India affords a timber which is highly valued for its strength and elasticity, and is used for bows, shafts, &c. The tough fibrous inner bark, or bass, of the European Linden furnishes the well-known Russian mats. Gunny-bags are made from the rudely prepared bark of Corchorus capsularis, which also yields the long and glossy Indian fibre called jute, a substitute for hemp and flax. Ten years ago, according to a statement in Hooker's Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany for January, 1849, "the use of this fibre was unknown in Europe, but now it is imported into Great Britain to the pecuniary amount of 300,000 pounds sterling annually.
The Lindens form an ample and compact head of handsome foliage, and are therefore much prized as shade-trees. The charcoal of the wood is used for making gunpowder. It is said that a little sugar may be obtained from the vernal sap; and the fragrant flowers yield the finest honey.
This order is at once distinguished from the Mallow Family by its deciduous calyx, its distinct or at least scarcely monadelphous stamens, which are inserted on a manifest hypogynous torus, and by the two-celled anthers; from Byttneriaceæ by their indefinite and not monadelphous stamens. The petals in Tilia are sometimes quincuncially imbricated in æstivation, as represented in Plate 136, Fig. 1: but in the same species they are frequently convolute, except that the first petal is entirely exterior, and occasionally the fifth is wholly interior. It may be remarked, as a general rule, that the æstivation of the corolla does not furnish such constant characters as that of the calyx.
The embryo of Tilia differs from that of Malvaceæ in having the cotyledons revolute, or rolled togerther in the direction averse from the hilum.
Recurring to what has been stated as to the position and origin of the stamens in the two preceding orders, it will appear evident from the diagram in Plate 136, Fig. 1, that, in the American Lindens, the petaloid scales or staminodia, with the adherent cluster of stamens, originate from the deduplication of the petals before which they respectively stand.
 Tiliaceae sensu Jussieu is not a natural grouping. Elaeocarpaceae (Elaeocarpeae, Sloaneae) and Prockieae have long been excluded from Tilieaceae, and are know known to be allied with Oxalidaceae and Salicaceae respectively. Grewieae and Sparmannieae are now known to be allied to Byttneroideae, Tilieae to be relatively isolated, and Berryeae and Brownlowieae to tbe allied to Sterculieae and Helictereae. Petenaea (formerly Elaeocarpaceae) is a genus of uncertain affinity, whilst Muntingia and Dicraspidium are now placed in the recently erected malvalean family Muntingiaceae, to which Neotessmania may also belong. Several other genera are more appropriately placed in Malvoideae or Dombeyoideae.
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