Species: Lavandula augustifolia
Common names: Lavender, common lavender, Old English Lavender Swedish name: lavendel, äkta lavendel
Lavandula is a genus of 39 known species of flowering plants, including annual or short-lived herbaceous perennial plants, shrub-like perennials, subshrubs and shrubs. It is found in a belt from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, via the Mediterranean and southwest Asia to southeast India. In temperate climates Lavandula is widely used as ornamental plants in gardens and landscapes, as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils. Commonly grown ornamental species are L. stoechas, L. dentata, and L. multifida. The most widely cultivated species, Lavandula augustifolia, is often referred to as lavender. There is a color named for the shade of the flowers of the common lavender. Commercially the plant is grown mainly for the production of essential oil.
Description:. Lavandula angustifolia is a perennial, grey-green subshrub with blue-purple flowers and small, thin silvery leaves. It has a characteristic aromatic fragrance. Lavender has many varieties and comes with flowers of different shades of blue, pink and white. Some common varieties are ‘Hidcote Blue’ (blue-purple), ‘Edelweiss’ (white), ‘Joan Davis’ (dark pink), ‘Martha Roderick’ (light blue). Lavender attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
How to grow: Lavandula angustifolia is a Mediterranean plant and flourish best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun. It needs little or no fertilizer which also keeps the fragrance at its best. Good air circulation is required since it may root rot if it gets to moist. Lavender may be pruned and trimmed. My recommendation is to cut it down quite hard every two years to avoid a scrappy look. It is suitable as a low hedge, edging or border plant. And belongs in every herbal and spice garden.
Natural beauty products
Lavandula angustifolia yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications. The oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The extracts of lavender are also used as fragrances for bath products and in aromatherapy. Bunches of lavender may repel insects. It was and still is used in linen cupboards to prevent moths. It is a nice craft to make small lavender cushions and put them in the closet to spread a pleasant scent.
Lavandula angustifolia is also known as a medical herb. To put lavender buds and flowers in your pillow is said to aid sleep and relaxation. An infusion of flower heads added to a cup of boiling water is used to soothe and relax at bedtime.
I love the scent of lavender both in the garden and in my homemade natural beauty products. So I thought I would share a few recipes with you. Some I have tried others are on my to-do list.
- Solid Lavender & Lemon Perfume by Marie at Humblebee & Me
- Soothing Lavender Bath Salt by Krystal at Natural Fit Foodie
- Honey Lavender Bath Melts by Diane at Suburbia Unwrapped
- Lavender Body Butter by Mindi at Moms Need To Know