This linden species is native to Europe and parts of Caucasia, with its northern limit reaching Finland, as far north as Vaasa. Of the so-called “valuable” broadleaf species, little leaf linden is the northernmost, having spread into Finland since the last ice age, about 5000 years ago. It was a valuable tree to Stone Age inhabitants, providing valuable fibres for bindings. This usage continued right up to the 1800s. However, removal of the bark in large amounts over the centuries means that the species has largely disappeared from natural sites.
Little leaf linden prefers rich soils. Its crown is fairly narrow and branches, especially older ones, tend to droop at the tips. The leaves are heart-shaped, smallish, the under surface slightly bluish. Flowers are star-shaped, pale yellow and grow in small fan-shaped clusters. The linden flowers in summer, when it can be recognised by the fragrance of its nectar, which attracts clouds of insects. The small fruit are almost smooth.
At Mustila there are some large specimens near Juhlapaikka, or Festival Area, opposite the stand of Japanese larch. New specimens grown from seed collected in a natural stand at Puruvesi were planted in 2010 on Pohjoisrinne (or Northern slope).