Uses for Basswood

Dec 7, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Tilia americana has the common names of linden or basswood. Basswood, b a s s is a corruption of bast – b a s t. Bast is the fibers from the phloem of woody plants, the outer layer of the vascular system. If you search a plant at NRCS Plant Guide, you get the North American ethnobotanical uses of the plant. :    Native Americans and settlers used the fibrous inner bark ("bast") as a source of fiber for rope, mats, fish nets, and baskets.  First it must be separated by a process called “retting,”    basically partially decomposing the other tissues. I wasn’t familiar with the term bast fibers but have learned that linen, ramie, hemp, and others fall in this category and that they have nodes which give them flexibility – and in this respect are different from seed fibers such as cotton.