Czechia (Czech Republic)
Tilia europaea (Tilia cordata)
General Description / Cultural Significance
The Linden tree, Tilia europaea, blooms in spring and sweet aromatic volatiles from its flowers fill the air with their uplifting and relaxing qualities. It was symbolic of the people of the region long before it became the national tree, and its leaf is displayed on the presidential flag. It was one of the first trees planted near homes, and later became a dominant tree in the Czech Republic’s cities, lining the streets and providing both a strong architectural silhouette and heavy shade with its dense canopy. The tree is featured in folklore, mythology, and literature of the region.
Linden blossoms are popularly used to make a fragrant and healing tea and as an ingredient in scented shampoo. Its pollen is used for honey. The dried flower, leaves, and wood can also be used medically for colds and headaches, as well as to relieve feelings of anxiety. It is known to possess sedative, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory qualities, and additionally its scent alone has been confirmed to relax the nervous system, reduce anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
Climate Change/Conservation Status
Climate change is causing increased temperatures in Czechia. The areas that have been affected by drought have increased tree mortality. Changes in air temperature, drought frequency, solar radiation, and chemical composition of the air are changing distribution patterns of the flora. As a result, the linden tree, sensitive to climatic change, is in decline as reported by the IUCN.
A symptom of the transformations in habitat due to climate change are evident in a new refugee to the country: the jackal. This species of animal has never before been a resident of this region.
Under the Paris Agreement in 2018, The Czech Republic decided to create its first long-term strategies to mitigate climate change and reduce its energy emissions. Their heavy reliance on coal as an energy source has been a challenge, but significant and sustained reduction of this is needed in order to help protect the biodiversity of the country. Czechia is part of the EU’s progressive climate actions and is working to make the climate goals a reality for the country.
Common European Linden
Chytrý, M., et al., 2019. Red List of Habitats of the Czech Republic. Ecological Indicators, 106. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105446
Czech Center, New York., NY. This statement can be found on the World Sensorium original website.
De Jaegere, T., Hein, S., & Claessens, H., 2016. A Review of the Characteristics of Small-Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) and Their Implications for Silviculture in a Changing Climate. Forests, 7(3), p. 56. DOI: 10.3390/f7030056
Fraňková, R., 2017. Jackals Make New Home In Czech Republic. Radio Prague International. [website]
Hlásny, T., et. al., 2011. Expected impacts of climate change on forests: Czech Republic as a case study. Journal of Forest Science 57, no. 10, pp. 422-431. DOI: 10.17221/103/2010-JFS