Leaves simple, alternate, bases often unequal, margins serrate, hairs star-shaped. Bark dark gray to brown, deeply furrowed with narrow scaly ridges.
The scent from the orange blossoms of this tree can be detected from over a mile away. Honeybees and moths are busy when the tree is in bloom, and honey produced from the basswood's nectar is some of the best. The wood is very soft and is used for hand carving. The inner bark can be used to make rope, baskets, and mats. Basswood has become a popular ornamental tree in yards and along city streets (Peattie 1964).