Common name: Lavender
Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia
Uses: Aromatic, cosmetic, culinary, decorative, and medicinal.The dried flowers scent sachets, potpourris, and decorative pillows. The aromatic oil is used in toilet water, cologne, and perfume. Lavender also is used in bath products and stimulating, cleansing facial steams. It is said to repel mosquitoes. It can flavor vinegars and jellies. Decorative uses include floral arrangements, wreaths, and wands. Lavender is said to have some medicinal qualities.
History: The name comes from the Latin verb meaning
Description: The bushy, branching shrub has mature stems that become dense and woody. The smooth-edged silver-gray leaves are opposite, lanceolate, somewhat hairy, and up to 2 inches long. The small lavender-purple flowers are in whorls of six to ten flowers, forming terminal spikes 6 to 8 inches long. The fruit is comprised of four shiny gray-brown nutlets.
Plant type: Perennial
Hardiness: Hardiness zones 5 to 8.
Height: up to 36 inches
Width: 24 inches
Soil: light, well-drained soil with a pH of 7.1
Disease: None noted.
Cultivation: Sow seeds in spring in shallow drills or seed
trays. Keep soil moist until the seedlings are well established. Cuttings can be
taken from the tips of shoots. Place in sand medium and keep moist. Transplant
once the root system is well established.
Companion planting: Thyme and lavender help each other grow. Also, lavender helps vegetables to stay healthy and produce more flavor.
Propagation: Seeds, stem cuttings.
Flowering period: June to September
Garden notes: Our lavender was attractive planted in groups. About half of the plants that we started from seed in the garden produced flower spikes the first year. The flowers were very fragrant, and the grayish foliage provided a nice contrast against the deeper greens and purple foliage of plants such as purple ruffles basil.