Lavendula Angustifolia (English Lavenders)
Angustifolias are the traditional English garden lavender varieties. They have narrow leaves, shorter stems with flower heads that are barrel shaped as opposed to spikey. Their fragrance is sweeter than their hybrid cousins the Lavandins, and because of this, their oil is coveted for aromatherapy and perfume. They bloom earlier in the year than the Lavandins. In the winter months, the Angustifolias can often look dead because of the smallness of the leaves. Their dried blossoms are used in cooking, crafting and cosmetics.
Sachet: 18-24″ English Lavender, 12″ stems, sky-blue flowers, sweet fragrance, early summer blooms, used in culinary applications as well as for sachets. "Sachet" is what we like to use in our dryer bags, eye pillows and sachets.
Munstead: Compact plant, 12-18”, grows well in zones 5-9 light blue-purple flowers. Blooms mid June. One of the sweetest lavenders, great for culinary use.
Hidcote: Semi-compact plant, 18-24”, grows well in zones 5-9, deep purple flowers. Blooms mid June-mid July or later. Culinary use as well as decorative and fragrant.
Lavendula Intermediate (Lavandins)
The Intermediates are a hybrid of Angustifolia and Spike lavender varieties. The hybrid vigor of these plants makes them hardy but sterile. Called Lavandins, this group typically has larger leaves, longer stems and larger flower heads that are pointed at the top instead of barrel shaped. They are usually used in soaps because of their camphorous fragrance. The oil yield of the Lavandins is much greater than the Angustifolias varieties, so it is considered the “work horse” of lavender types. Not only are these plants hardy and disease resistant, they have a more attractive look in the winter months. Typically the Lavandin sachet is strong smelling, making it excellent for ridding clothes of moths. Also used in massage oil for sore muscles, but not recommended for cooking.
Grosso: 24-36″ Intermediate Lavandin, 16-20″ stems; grows well in zones 5-9, hardy, resists disease, medium purple flowers, strong, clean fragrance, mid-summer blooms, great for drying & crafting. Easy to grow.
Seal: 48-60″ Intermediate Lavandin, 18-24″stems, very large plant, grows well in zones 5-8, leafless stems, profuse bloomer, medium blue flowers, strong fragrance, late summer bloom, one plant will produce thousands of blossoms at maturity. Would work well as a privacy hedge.
OTHER, LESS COMMON LAVENDERS
Lavendula Stoeches (Spanish Lavender)
Native to the Mediterranean, grows in zones 8-11. Tender, non-hardy plant in many regions. Considered an invasive weed in Australia since it's introduction in that area in 1920.
Lavendula Dentata (French Lavender)
Native to the Mediterranean, grows well in zones 8-11. Has distinctive serrated leaves. Usually grown in pots in areas that have all but the mildest winters.