Lavandula angustifolia | ‘English Lavender’, ‘Lavender’ | Seeds
Lavandula angustifolia (syn. Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula pyrenaica, Lavandula spica, Lavandula vera) is an extremely popular flowering plant of the Lamiaceae family, native and widespread to the Mediterranean, as well as naturalised in large parts of the UK and elsewhere. Two subspecies are currently recognised: Lavandula angustifolia subsp. angustifolia (the type listed here) and Lavandula angustifolia subsp. pyrenaica.
Commonly known as ‘English Lavender’, ‘Lavender’ and ‘True Lavender’, angustifolia is a highly aromatic, smooth evergreen shrub which grows up to approximately two metres in height. Narrow leaves (for which the species is named) reach roughly six centimetres long by five or six millimetres across, while distinctive pink to purple (“lavender”) flowers, up to about eight centimetres in length, appear between late spring and late summer, sprouting from thin stems up to thirty centimetres or so long.
The popularity of this species as an ornamental plant in many countries has resulted in the development of a great number of hybrids (referred to as “lavandins”) and cultivars, including many which have earned the British Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. It may be grown as a hedge plant and is also often used in various herbal medicinal practices; for example, in the form of a tea or its extracted essential oil. Further, the flowers are often used as a culinary herb, while the oils are also popular as an ingredient of soaps, lotions and other such products. Interestingly, the flowers and oil are thought to act to repel moths, despite being especially attractive to bees, birds, butterflies and even praying mantises! The dried leaves and flowers are a common feature of flower arrangements and pot-pourri too. Versatility in full effect!
Occurring naturally in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9, angustifolia will grow in anything from acidic to alkaline soil – although neutral to alkaline is best – providing it’s well-drained (gravel, perlite or sand is always handy in such cases). Place young plants at least sixty centimetres or so apart in full sun. This species benefits from light and a suitable seed pre-treatment (such as stratification) for maximum germination, but is quite easy to grow.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced