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The violet to purple to pink flower-heads grow some distinct bracts that resemble rabbit ears. Utility: Mass planting, evergreen garden borders and hedges. For commercial production, planting several different varieties in several different locations on your property as test plots will help determine which varieties grow best for you. Pretty easy to grow and take care of, all varieties and cultivars are quite hardy, drought- and heat tolerant. Virginia McNaughton, The Genus Lavandula. Culinary buds. Lavandin is a cross between L. angustifolia and L. latifolia. The flower stalks are 3-5 inches long, blooming in spring to summer. Utility: Ideal for short informal walkway borders or hedges as well as for containers. Utility: Borders and flowerbeds where its feathery flower-heads can sway in breeze; container plant; cut/dry flower. Excellent for crafts and dried flowers as it retains its color. Crafting. Utility: Mass planting; perennial hedges, and borders in medium gardens. Up to 3-4 in. As suggested by the name, it produces dense snow white fragrant flower spikes that create an attractive contrast with the silver-green foliage. There are over 450 Lavender varieties and finding the most fragrant Lavender plant is not always an easy task. Utility: Colorful borders, flowerbeds, and hedges. The plants are pretty hardy, needing full sun, also able to tolerate cold, coming back every year once winter is over. Even varieties that are not rated for your growing zone can be used, but just consider them as annuals to be replaced every year. Utility: Fresh cut or dried flowers (retains its scent for about 2 years); potpourri; hedges and borders. There is nothing more charming than the perfume released by Lavender (Lavandula) when brushing the flowers as you pass! Compact, extremely fragrant with rosy purple flowers, Lavender 'Munstead' is very attractive throughout the year. What variety should you plant? English Lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia) Despite its name, the English lavender (common or true lavender) originated in the Mediterranean area. Blooming twice in a year, during later spring to mid- to late summer, the sweetly fragrant flowers are of a cool bluish lavender shade, which contrast nicely with the plant’s gray-green foliage. The strongly fragrant stunning dark purple flower spikes are spaced out a little, giving it a fluid flowing appearance, especially in wind. Producing rather unique pink flowers with a strong scent, this variety blooms around late spring to early summer. A quite robust variety of French lavender from Portugal, it has been introduced to the gardening world quite recently. Flowering typically occurs from late spring to midsummer. Stiff flower spikes bloom between later spring and early summer. Leaves and flowers produce a nice aroma when brushed against. One of the darkest pink varieties, the evergreen plant is quite hardy to hot dry conditions. Blooms once some time from late spring to late summer. Your email address will not be published. First time visitors to a lavender farm frequently exclaim, “I thought it was just a purple bush!” Even enthusiasts are amazed to find out how many varieties exist. True to the name, the flower stalks grow around a foot long. The light purple or mauve flags create a nice contrast. Being draught tolerant, lavender can thrive in areas where other plants won’t even grow. A fragrant variety with characteristic purple-blue flowers rising above the gray-green foliage, with the blooming season being from late spring to summer. Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device. Utility: Walkway and garden hedges; potpourri and extraction of essential oil. They can be lavender, or combinations of white-pink, violet-blue, and purple-blue. with Lavandula - Lavenders, Want Garden Inspiration? Native to the western regions of the Mediterranean, these perennial plants grow pale lilac flowers on a long stalk, between late spring and late summer. Many times, the more people you ask, the more confused you have become. Utility: Walkways and garden borders where its fresh scent can be appreciated; excellent choice for container plant. More suitable for hot climates, it is known as Spanish lavender in the US and as French lavender in UK. Landscaping. First ask: What is the purpose of your lavender? Generally speaking, lavandins have longer stems and the bloom time is later than that of L. angustifolia. Utility: In large herb gardens, mass planting, garden hedges; cut flower arrangements. There are 5 primary types of lavender or Lavandula, which are then mixed and crossed together to create at least 40-50 other varieties and cultivars. A good rule of thumb to follow is to taste the bud. It is often considered to be the most cultivated lavender plant, widely used in the perfume and cosmetics industry. More lavender species/varieties have yet to be classified. Light blue to purple beautifully fragrant flowers are spaced away from each other, with individual flowers being rather large. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas. The plants flower between spring and summer. Blooming in summer, the flowers have a wonderful strong fragrance; the bushy plants tend to get unruly without proper pruning. The description of these plants Being from the Mediterranean regions, they all need poor to medium soil with excellent drainage along with full sunlight. Varieties produce different quantities of oil. Essential Oil. If it tastes good to you, it will taste good in your recipe. Suitable to be grown only in large gardens as it tends to take over. Not all Lavenders are highly scented. © United States Lavender Growers Association. Most of the varieties come from either the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) or the French/Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas). The flower clusters grow in long upright stems, around the middle or later part of summer. A compact perennial from Europe and northwestern Africa, its flowers are carmine in color with white or pinkish ears that contrast nicely with the light green foliage. Keep in mind that in the aromatherapy field many practitioners will only consider angustifolia as an essential oil and not lavandins. Another dwarf variety with purplish pink inflorescence, it is ideal for small gardens, especially since it has little to no tendency to overpower other plants. Excellent for potpourris or dried arrangements as it retains its color. These are referred to as Lavandula x intermedia or lavandins. Most varieties will produce buds that can be harvested for sachets or products using buds, but some will have a stronger fragrance and have a darker colored bud. Blooming season is early to late summer, with the flowers retaining their scent for years after drying. Tim Upson & Susyn Andrews, Lavender, how to grow and use the fragrant herb. Other varieties used in cooking include ‘Grosso’ and ‘Provence’. Join now and start creating your dream garden! Drought-tolerant and hardy to hot climates, these plants are great for attracting butterflies and bees, while they are also deer and rabbit resistance. This is an award winning variety with dense plump bright purple flowers with a strong sweet fragrance, growing on long stems. Perfect for rock or gravel gardens, this plant combination... Not all Lavenders are created equal! Counted among the largest lavender plants, it produces highly fragrant light blue flowers, blooming from mid-summer to early fall. May have a second and third flush of flowers during the season if the flowers are cut soon enough. Lavenders blooming twice are known to have a full second flush of blooms after the flowers of the first bloom have been harvested. Sarah Berringer Bader, Lavender, The grower’s guide. Some produce less oil, but have a softer, sweeter scent. Thick gray-green (summer) to silver-green (winter) foliage. Altitude, spring rains and summer heat can affect the oil production and quality of the oil from the variety you select. long (7-10 cm), its flower spikes rise elegantly on long stems and retain their lovely and intense color, making this lavender an excellent choice for cut flowers, whether fresh or dried. The plants are quite hardy with an average growth rate, flowering around late spring to summer. The deep purple flower stalks are considered to be the darkest variety by many gardeners, while the flags are of a soothing purple-violet shade; the dark green foliage is highly aromatic. One of the first lavenders to bloom, it blooms once in mid to late spring (early to mid May). Ideas with Lavandula - Lavenders, Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender), A Mediterranean Garden Idea with Eryngium, Helenium and Lavandula, A Low Care Border Idea for Your Rock Garden, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy, Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Strongest Scented English Lavender Varieties. Hardy, Lavender 'Folgate' has been proven to withstand cold temperatures and comes back year after year. If you have a lavender plant and are not sure exactly which one it is, send us a picture so we can help. The fragrant lilac fluffy flower spikes create a stunning view when contrasted with the silver-/gray-green leaves. A great pick! Utility: Ground cover, hedges; fragrant fresh and dried flower arrangements and crafts. Hidcote - small with dark bluish purple flowers. A frost-tolerant variety originally from New Zealand, the evergreen shrub grows upright with aromatic silvery-green foliage, producing unique purple-pink flowers that develop as white bracts, changing color as they mature. The popularity of cooking with lavender has produced many delicious recipes using lavender. Introduced in 1916 by the garden designer Gertrude Jekill, this small cultivar grows well in containers and is a great choice for hedges or knot gardens. One of the dwarf varieties of English lavender, it grows dark purple-blue flowers with strong fragrance. Long dark blue flower spikes appear around the early or middle part of summer. In Northern latitudes the two most common species are angustifolia and x intermedia (also called lavandin). Blooms once in late spring or early summer. Extended, looming season starts in spring, continuing through summer to fall. As evident from the name, it grows white flower spikes, which look stunning when planted with other darker lavender cultivars. Essential Oil: Grosso (L. x intermedia) - considered the highest oil producing lavender, high camphor content. This is a white lavender variety, with the sweet fragrant flowers growing in short stiff spines over the short bushy foliage comprising of narrow grayish leaves. Royal Velvet - medium plant with dark purple flowers, Provence - large plant with pale purple flowers, Provence (L. x intermedia) - pale buds, some camphor scent, easy to take off stem, Grosso (L. x intermedia) - medium purple buds, strong camphor scent, Royal Velvet (L. angustifolia) - dark purple bud with sweet scent, Buena Vista (L. angustifolia)  - purple buds with nice lavender scent, Provence (L. x intermedia) - use for meats and savories, Royal Velvet (L. angustifolia) - great flavor and nice dark purple bud, very nice in desserts, Betty’s Blue (L. angustifolia) - nice gentle lavender flavor and dark bud, Melissa (L. angustifolia) - wonderful flavor in desserts and teas, Grosso - nice long stems for lavender wands, Folgate (L. angustifolia)  - early blooming, dries dark blue/purple, great for wreaths, Royal Velvet (L. angustifolia) - dries dark purple, great for wreaths, Buena Vista (L. angustifolia) - dries dark purple, great for wreaths, Most angustifolias bloom earlier than lavandins, Buena Vista – blooms several times during the season, Grosso (L. x intermedia) - considered the highest oil producing lavender, high camphor content, Royal Velvet (L. angustifolia) - sweeter, floral fragrance, Super (L. x intermedia) - higher oil producing lavandin with an oil fragrance similar to angustifolias, Maillette (L. angustifolia)  - considered the oil standard in France, one of the best angustifolia, The Lavender Lover’s Handbook. Utility: Perennial borders and small herb gardens; container planting. A top choice for cut flowers, fresh or dried, and low hedges. Utility: cut and dry flowers; ground covers, hedges in large gardens. A little patience with testing varieties in the beginning will save a lot of work replacing plants later. Royal Velvet (L. angustifolia) - sweeter, floral fragrance. One of the most compact varieties, ‘Thumbelina Leigh’ grows dark bluish-lavender plump flower spikes with a strong and pleasant scent. There are over 450 Lavender varieties and finding the most fragrant Lavender plant is not always an easy task. There are many other cultivars as well, created by mixing different species. The size and foliage somewhat resembles the ‘grosso’ variety, but the flowers are a dark purple, growing on flatter spikes. Utility: Hedges and borders in medium gardens. Sharon Shipley introduced “The Lavender Cookbook” in 2004 and favored Provence, a lavandin, as the best culinary lavender. Utility: Summer garden hedges, mass planting, in butterfly gardens. Following is a list of suggested lavender varieties to consider: The following books are good references to add to your library for more information on lavender varieties. Utility: Mass planting, herb gardens, hedge in smaller gardens; excellent for essential oil. Lavandula angustifolia, also called True Lavender or Common Lavender has long been cultivated for its high quality lavender oil. Which variety to plant would be determined by space available and the size of the plant at maturity. Utility: Tall aromatic hedges; fresh cut flowers and dry flower arrangements. Utility: Ideal for drying as it retains its color and fragrance for years; Being one of the tallest varieties, it is ideal for hedges in larger gardens. You may want to research what species and varieties are in demand before planting for essential oil production. The following cultivars of L. angustifolia and its hybrids have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:- The flowers have a stronger pungent aroma compared to most other lavenders. If you ask a dozen different people what their favorite culinary lavender is, you will get a dozen different answers.

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