About 45 species of deciduous trees, branches commonly have stellate pubescence. Leaves alternate, in 2 ranks, simple, apex acute to acuminate, base oblique, cordate, margin serrate, often pubescent below. Flowers usually in pendulous clusters (cymes), the stalks of which are fused to about half their length to a single, narrow, leaf-like bract, individual flowers are usually bisexual, white to yellow, often fragrant, 5 sepals, 5 petals, 5 staminodes. Fruit is a dry, nut-like drupe with 1 seed.
Tilia: from Latin tilia, lime, apparently derived from the Greek ptilon, feather, a reference to the flower bract.