Silver lime (binomial name Tilia tomentosa) is a species of Tilia native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, from Hungary and the Balkans east to western Turkey, occurring at moderate altitudes.
This unusual and highly attractive wand wood was highly fashionable in the nineteenth century. Demand outstripped supply, and unscrupulous wandmakers dyed substandard woods in an effort to fool purchasers into believing that they had purchased silver lime. The reasons for these wands’ desirability lay not only in their unusually handsome appearance, but also because they had a reputation for performing best for Seers and those skilled in Legilimency, mysterious arts both, which consequently gave the possessor of a silver lime wand considerable status.
When demand was at its height, wandmaker Arturo Cephalopos claimed that the association between silver lime and clairvoyance was ‘a falsehood circulated by merchants like Gerbold Ollivander, who have overstocked their workshops with silver lime and hope to shift their surplus.’ But Cephalopos was a slipshod wandmaker and an ignoramus, and nobody, Seer or not, was surprised when he went out of business.
Behind the scenes
- In Baltic mythology, the linden tree was sacred to Laima, a goddess of fate. This may relate to silver lime's reputation with Seers.