Family: Lamiaceae
Common Name: Lavender

There are around 28 species of these delightful aromatic shrubs, often grown as low hedges. From the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, North Africa and India, their tiny lavender and purple flowers are densely clustered on erect spikes which protrude above the fragrant, gray­ish green leaves. The dried flower spikes are used for scenting household linen. Oil of laven­der, used in perfume, is obtained from L. angustifolia and L. stoechas.


L. angustifolia (Synonym: L. spica), common or English lavender, zone 5, from the Mediterranean, flowers in mid and late summer, depending on climate. Good garden cultivars include 'Hidcote', a compact type, to about 50 cm (20 in), with dark purple flowers; 'Loddon Pink', growing to around 40 cm (16 in), with soft pink flowers; 'Munstead', to 40 cm (16 in), with blueish purple flowers; and 'Nana Alba', a small, rounded bush with white flowers.

L. dentata, zone 9, grows to about 1 m (3 ft), with soft gray, toothed leaves and small lavender flowers in mid and late summer.

L. lanata, zone 8, from Spain, has violet flow­ers. Foliage and stems are covered with white hairs.

L. stoechas, French lavender, zone 8, has deep purple summer flowers and smooth leaves. From the Mediterranean, it grows to 60 cm (24 in). Sub-species pedunculata has wide, silvery leaves and long spikes of pale blue, summer flowers. Common names for various lavender species vary from place to place.


Lavender thrives in a sunny, well-drained situation. A slightly alkaline soil suits them best. Prune back as soon as the flowering season is over. It is preferable to renew these plants from cuttings every few years, though they can be grown from seed. Sonie species can be propagated by division.


Dry climates preferred. There are species suited to various climatic zones.

Laurus      Lavatera