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Lavender Grow Info

Lavender has been used for centuries not only in the perfume industry but also for aromatherapy and massage for its aroma and calming characteristics. Today, lavender is found in many products from soaps to candles to medicinal items. This versatile herb naturally repels flies, moths, mosquitoes, and even deer.
Besides the soothing properties of lavender, this old-fashioned herb is gaining more popularity in the culinary field. It is being used by many chefs in teas, sugars, deserts, salad dressings, marinades, and even in icecreams and sorbets. Lavender has ventured into the beverage field and is the popular garnish in lemonade and in vodka martinis. The buds are stripped from the stalks and can be used fresh or dried. Lavender buds are one of the ingredients in Herbes de Provence.

Lavender is an aromatic woody evergreen shrub and is one of our favorite herbs. We grow several varieties of lavender.  The hybrid lavenders are the larger more hardy and vigorus growers and the English lavenders have a smaller compact shape but the sweetest tastes for overall culinary uses.

The hybrid lavenders are called lavindins (lavender intermedia) and are a cross between the English Angustifolias and the latifolia varieties. These hybrid plants were developed in the early 1920's in Provence, France.  They grew at an altitude around 1,600 feet and are not true to seed.  These plants need to be reproduced from vegetative cuttings in order to get a true reproduction from the mother plant.  Some advantages of these lavindins include their ability to adapt to difficult climate conditions and therefore are hardy in most of the United States in Zones 5 to 8. The plants are robust, large, and the yield of oil for the perfume industry is 10 times higher than the English Angustifolias. These hybrids have a grey hue to the buds and produce larger wands.

On the other hand, The English Angustifolias are sweeter scented flowers than the hybrid lavindins.  These plants contain less camphor, bloom earlier, and are smaller and more compact in shape. They are very hardy to below zero and are used for culinary purposes as well as aromatherapy. These English varieties have deep purple wands that are preferred by many chefs. This variety of lavender is native to the Pyrenees in southern France, NE Spain, Switzerland, and northern Italy. The name "Angustifolia" means narrow leaved.