A little bit about Lavender
Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 39 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae.
Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils.
Two members of the genus Intermedius and Augustofolia are most commonly used for producing essential oils and these two varieties can be seen here at Bella Lavender.
Both varieties flower in Summer with December and January being the prettiest months for lavender at the farm. Lavender is a drought tolerant plant however young plants do benefit from good irrigation. It is important not to over water lavender plants as this can cause stress to the lavender.
L Augustofolia is a strongly aromatic shrub growing as high as 1 to 2 metres (3.3 to 6.6 ft) tall. The leaves are evergreen, 2–6 centimetres (0.79–2.36 in) long, and 4–6 millimetres (0.16–0.24 in) broad. The flowers are pinkish-purple (lavender-coloured), produced on spikes 2–8 cm (0.79–3.15 in) long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10–30 cm (3.9–11.8 in) long. L Augustofolia plants produce an excellent quality essential oil.
These lavenders are a cross ( Hybrid) between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. This is where the name intermedia comes from as in between. They are typically much larger and more robust in growth the L. angustifolia, often reaching over 4ft in height and width. They are wonderful to fill larger spaces in gardens or for creating large flowering hedges. They have broader leaves than L. angustifolia and have much longer flowering stalks making up to 2/3 rds of the plants height. The long stems make them suitable for use in the house as a cut flower. L. Intermedia produce much larger quantities of oil than L. angustifolia sometimes as much as 10 times more. Unfortunately the oil is not of the same quality, it has a stronger camphor tone, and is mainly used in detergents, soaps and cheaper perfumes.
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- Lucy Centofanti