We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Lavandula - Mill.

Common Name English Lavender, True Lavender
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 5-8
Known Hazards The volatile oil may rarely cause sensitization [301].
Habitats Dry grassy slopes amongst rocks[9], in exposed, usually parched, hot rocky situations often on calcareous soils[200].
Range Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (5 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Lavandula English Lavender, True Lavender


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-087.jpg
Lavandula English Lavender, True Lavender
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sten

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Bloom Color: Lavender, Purple. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Lavandula is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

L. officinale. L. spica. pro parte. L. vera. (not of gardens)

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves, petals and flowering tips - raw. Used as a condiment in salads, soups, stews etc[2, 15, 183]. They provide a very aromatic flavour[7] and are too strong to be used in any quantity[K]. The fresh or dried flowers are used as a tea[183]. The fresh flowers are also crystallized or added to jams, ice-creams, vinegars etc as a flavouring[238]. An essential oil from the flowers is used as a food flavouring[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Lavender is a commonly used household herb, though it is better known for its sweet-scented aroma than for its medicinal qualities[254]. However, it is an important relaxing herb, having a soothing and relaxing affect upon the nervous system[254]. The flowering spikes can be dried and used internally in a tincture, though the extracted essential oil is more commonly used. The essential oil is much more gentle in its action than most other essential oils and can be safely applied direct to the skin as an antiseptic to help heal wounds, burns etc[254]. An essential oil obtained from the flowers is antihalitosis, powerfully antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, nervine, sedative, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[4, 7, 9, 21, 165, 238]. It is not often used internally, though it is a useful carminative and nervine[4]. It is mainly used externally where it is an excellent restorative and tonic - when rubbed into the temples, for example, it can cure a nervous headache, and it is a delightful addition to the bath-water[4]. Its powerful antiseptic properties are able to kill many of the common bacteria such as typhoid, diphtheria, streptococcus and Pneumococcus, as well as being a powerful antidote to some snake venoms[244]. It is very useful in the treatment of burns, sunburn, scalds, bites, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc, where it also soothes the affected part of the body and can prevent the formation of permanent scar tissue[4, 238]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Immune system'[210]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Lavandula angustifolia for loss of appetite, nervousness and insomnia, circulatory disorders, dyspeptic complaints (see [302] for critics of commission E).

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

More
Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

More
PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

The essential oil that is obtained from the flowers is exquisitely scented and has a very wide range of applications, both in the home and commercially. It is commonly used in soap making, in making high quality perfumes (it is also used in 'Eau de Cologne'), it is also used as a detergent and cleaning agent, a food flavouring etc[21, 46, 57, 171, 238] and as an insect repellent[201]. When growing the plant for its essential oil content, it is best to harvest the flowering stems as soon as the flowers have faded[245]. Yields of 0.8 - 1% of the oil are obtained[7]. The aromatic leaves and flowers are used in pot-pourri[238] and as an insect repellent in the linen cupboard etc[14, 18, 20]. They have been used in the past as a strewing herb in order to impart a sweet smell to rooms and to deter insects[244]. The leaves are also added to bath water for their fragrance and therapeutic properties[244]. They are also said to repel mice[20]. The flowering stems, once the flowers have been removed for use in pot-pourri etc, can be tied in small bundles and burnt as incense sticks[245]. Lavender can be grown as a low hedge, responding well to trimming[29]. There are several varieties, such as 'Hidcote Variety', 'Loddon Pink' and 'Folgate Blue' that are suitable for using as dwarf hedges 30 - 50cm tall[245].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Border, Container, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen. Succeeds in almost any soil so long as it is well-drained and not too acid[1, 200]. Prefers a sunny position in a neutral to alkaline soil[1, 4, 14]. Prefers a light warm dry soil[37]. When grown in rich soils the plants tend to produce more leaves but less essential oils[4]. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. Plants are very tolerant of salt wind exposure[K]. When growing for maximum essential oil content, the plant must be given a very warm sunny position and will do best in a light sandy soil, the fragrance being especially pronounced in a chalky soil[245]. Plants are hardy to between -10 and -15°c[184]. Lavender is a very ornamental plant that is often grown in the herb garden and is also grown commercially for its essential oil[1, 4]. There are several named varieties[182, 183]. Not a very long-lived plant, it can be trimmed to keep it tidy but is probably best replaced every 10 years[200]. Any trimming is best done in spring and should not be done in the autumn since this can encourage new growth that will not be very cold-hardy[200]. A good bee plant, also attracting butterflies and moths[7, 24, 30]. Lavender makes a good companion for most plants[54], growing especially well with cabbages[14]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed[4]. It usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Usually very east, a high percentage will root within a few weeks[78]. Grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings 7cm with a heel succeed at almost any time of the year[1]. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Lavandula angustifoliaEnglish Lavender, True LavenderShrub1.2 5-8 SLMHNDM235
Lavandula dentata Shrub1.0 8-11  LMHNDM013
Lavandula latifoliaSpike Lavender, Broadleaved lavenderShrub0.4 6-9  LMHNDM225
Lavandula stoechasFrench LavenderShrub0.8 7-10  LMHNDM024
Lavandula x intermediaLavender, LavandinShrub1.2 5-9 SLMHNDM225

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Mill.

Botanical References

11200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Lavandula  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.