There are over 25 species in the genus Lavandula. Most of these originated from the Mediterranean area, although some have been found as far west as the Canary Islands, as far east as India and south to tropical Africa. Lavandula has been broken into the following sub-generic classifications:|
Spica Lavenders: This group includes True Lavender (L. angustifolia), Spike Lavender (L. latifolia) and Lavandin (L. x intermedia).
These groups are important because the species within these groups respond similarly to cultural conditions and although Lavenders appreciate full sun, good drainage and relatively mild
temperatures, lavenders in the Spike lavender group handle colder climates better than the Stoechas type which are in turn hardier than the Pterostachys type.
All are drought tolerant and only require minimal watering to look their best. Prune lavenders while in full bloom for cut flower stems and dead-head
for repeat bloom. When cutting flowers for fragrance, it is best to cut in the morning hours.
Stoechas Lavenders: This group includes what Americans call Spanish Lavender (L. stoechas) and French Lavender (L. dentata) - some refer to these as Italian and Spanish Lavender respectively.
Pterostachys Lavenders: This group, also known as the Winged Spike Lavenders includes Jagged Lavender (L. pinnata) and Lavandula multifida.
Species and Cultivars
Lavandula angustifolia - True or English Lavender Plant not currently in production
This lavender, once referred to as L. spica or L. vera is the lavender with the sweetest aroma. It grows to about 3' x 6', with long, thin silver-gray leaves and pale lavender-blue blooms appearing Spring through Summer. Many say this is the 'hardiest of all lavenders', surviving temperatures below 15° F. True Lavender and the cultivars begin blooming in late spring to early summer. Cultivars of this plant were used extensively in the Knot garden at Filoli.
Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote'
This is a popular dwarf species, with spikes of rich, midnight purple blooms held just above the silver-gray foliage. Grows 1 - 2' tall and wide. Hardy to below 15° F.
Lavandula angustifolia 'Martha Roderick'
This is a very reliable dense, mounding shrub to about 2'x2'. It has powdery gray-green narrow, smooth foliage and fuzzy lavender-blue flower spikes. It blooms for a long period, Summer through Fall. Both foliage and blooms are deeply aromatic, especially when crushed. Hardy to below 15° F. We are no longer growing this plant
Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead'
Another short one - to about 1-2' x 1-2'. Blue/lavender blooms appears Spring through Summer. Silver/gray foliage. Hardy to below 15° F.
Lavandula angustifolia 'Rosea'
A fairly new "seed cultivar" from Jelitto Seeds. It has compact growth to 1-2' x 1-2'. Purple blooms appear in Summer. Hardy to below 15° F. We are no longer growing this plant
Lavandula angustifolia 'Silver Edge'PP13,091 Plant not currently in production
This is a very attractive variegated lavender to 30" tall with broad cream and green-gray foliage and dusty blue flowers rising on slender stalks above the foliage in summer. It is a lovely addition to the dry border. This plant was noted by Tim Crowther in a block of Lavandula vera at David Tristram's Walberton Nursery in West Sussex, England. It is protected by Plant Breeders Rights under the name 'Walvera' by PlantHaven. Plant in full sun and irrigate infrequently. Hardy to below 15 degrees F. Reportedly, the blooms are edible. Has the US plant patent number PP13,091.
Lavandula dentata - French Lavender
This lavender from Spain has gray-green tooth margined leaves, pale lavender blue blooms on short stems. Steady bloomer (nearly year-round), grows to about 3' x 5' - a good sprawler. Hardy to 20 - 25° F. Nicely pungent leaves and blooms. Called Spanish Lavender in Europe.
Lavandula dentata 'Candicans' - Gray French Lavender
Gray tooth margined leaves, pale lavender blue blooms on short stems. Steady bloomer (nearly year-round), grows to about 3' x 5' - a good sprawler. Hardy to 20 - 25° F. Nicely pungent leaves and blooms. Very similar to the species but with grayer foliage. Seems to be the more robust of the two.
Lavandula 'Goodwin Creek Gray'
This handsome hybrid of L. x heterophylla and L. lanata from Goodwin Creek Nursery of Oregon is vigorous, yet it remains compact, growing to about 2' x 3'. It has silvery-white, toothed edged leaves, similar to dentata, but larger. It is hardy to 15 - 20 ° F. Blooms are soft blue-lavender shishkabobbed spikes on short stems, appearing nearly year-round.
Lavandula x heterophylla (L. dentata x L. angustifolia)
This is a very upright-growing, green linear-foliaged shrub, growing to about 4' x 4'. Dark violet-blue flower spikes rise 1'-2' above the foliage. The fine and narrow blooms are arranged 'shishkabob style' on the stems. Very reliable bloomer. Hardy to 20 ° F. Current thought is that this plant may actually be L. x allardii as the true L. x heterophylla is shorter and has dentate lower leaves with smooth upper ones. Either way this plant is one of the toughest lavender that we grow
Lavandula x intermedia 'Alba' - White Lavandin
Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso' - Purple Lavandin
This hybrid (L. angustifolia x L. latifolia) grows to 2-3 feet tall. Flower spikes have white petals and gray-green sepals in green bracts with a tinge of purple. Hardy to 15° F.
This hybrid (L. angustifolia x L. latifolia) grows 2'x 2' with silver-gray foliage similar to angustifolia. Violet-blue flowers appear Summer through Fall. This is the most common lavender used to extract lavender oil. Hardy to 15° F.
Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence' ('du Provence') - Blue Lavandin
This hybrid (L. angustifolia x L. latifolia) grows to 2' x 3' with slate gray foliage. Lavender blue flower spikes bloom on 18" branching stems from Summer into Fall. Good source for lavender oil. Hardy to 15° F.
Lavandula latifolia - Spike Lavender
Although very similar to the closely related True Lavender (L. angustifolia) Spike Lavender is a little more robust and retains its lower foliage. It also has broader gray-green leaves with lavender blooms that appear later in the summer. As it is native to lowland slopes in Western Europe that are lower in elevation then the habitat of L. angustifolia, Spike Lavender tends to be the less hardy of the two. We are no longer growing this plant
This species from the Iberian Peninsula in Italy grows to 2' x 4'. An open-structured small shrub with fernlike gray-green foliage that is sparsely covered with hairs. Dark violet-blue blooms in a modified, tight pitchfork form are held on 12"+- stems. Blooms most of year. Hardy to 24° F. We are no longer growing this plant
Lavandula 'Multifida' [L. multifida var. canariense, Hort.] - California Lavender
This is an open shrub to about 3' x 5', with deeply lobed gray-green leaves (lacking the coarse hairs of the L. multifida). Tall spikes, 12" to 20" long bear rich blue-violet 2 - 3 pronged pitchfork blooms Spring through Fall. This plant has been circulating through the nursery trade for many years under many different names. It is the most common of the Pterostachys type Lavenders. Hardy to about 24° F. We are no longer growing this plant
Lavandula pinnata var. buchii [L. buchii 'Tenerife'] - Jagged Lavender
This lavender sets itself apart by its fern-like, creamy sage-gray foliage, which is finely toothed like a comb. Loose, upright growth to about 4' x 4'. Small, delicate pale purple bloom on spikes 2'-4' tall. Hardy to about 24° F.
Lavandula stoechas 'Alba' - White Spanish Lavender
A white-flowering form of spanish lavender. It has gray-green 1 inch long lanceolate leaves with a short unbranched inflorescence bearing flower spikes of small pale white to purple flowers crowned by several 1 inch white petal-like bracts (bunny ears) Hardy to 5F.
Lavandula stoechas 'Madrid Pink Improved' PP14,205 - Pink Spanish Lavender
Part of a series of Lavender from Bodger Botanicals - Madrid Pink is typical of Lavandula stoechas varieties with lanceolate gray foliage and short flower stalks topped with bracts but this plant has with lavender-pink bracts with dark purple flowers. Others in this series include Madrid White, with all white flowers & bracts and Madrid Sky Blue with white bracts topping periwinkle blue blossoms. Drought tolerant. Hardy to around 5 F. This is the second in the Madrid Pink Series. We are no longer growing this plant
Lavandula stoechas 'Otto Quast' - Spanish Lavender
This is one of the most dependable bloomers in its family, the rosy plum-purple blooms (they look like tiny pineapples with rabbit ears) appearing virtually year-round. A compact, dense shrub to about 2' x 3' with grayish-green 1" long lanceolate leaves. Hardy to below 15° F.
Lavandula stoechas Passionne ('Lavsts 08') PP15,208 Passionne
A small compact lavender that grows to 16-20 inches (40-50cm) tall and wide with dark flower spike topped by burgundy-purple bracts. This plant was selected for its distinct and unique low compact bushy growth habit and lush green foliage, dark violet spike color and the burgundy-purple colored sterile bracts (bunny ears). It was granted US Patent PP15,208 under the name 'Lavsts 08' on October 5, 2004 and is being market in the US as Lavandula stoechas Passionne.
Lavandula stoechas ssp. luisieri
This small growing plant was grown from seed acquired from the Botanic Garden of Cordova. There is little information on this subspecies although it is thought to originate in Portugal. It is similar to L. stoechas 'Otto Quast', with greener foliage and smaller pink tinged flowers. We are no longer growing this plant
Lavandula stoechas ssp. pedunculata 'Atlas' - Atlas Mountain Lavender
From the Atlas Mountains in Morocco this Lavender grows to about 3' x 3'. Similar to L. stoechas 'Otto Quast' but is taller and more upright and with narrower leaves and longer and thinner flower spikes of smaller plum-purple bracts, which appear Spring through Fall. Hardy to 20° F. We are no longer growing this plant
Lavandula stoechas ssp pedunculata 'Willow Vale'
Lavandula stoechas ssp. pedunculata 'Willow Vale' is a vigorous and very showy lavender 2-3 tall and as wide with strongly aromatic silver-gray foliage. The flowers with blue purple bracts on top rise about the foliage on long peduncles from spring into fall. It is thought to be one of the hardiest of the Spanish Lavender group as it is known to take temperatures down below 15 degrees F. It does best when it is planted in the full sun. This plant came from British plant breeder David Tristram of Walberton Nursery in West Sussex, England.