There are many varieties of lavender. Some are sweet, some are camphorous and smell almost like eucalyptus. Learn about the properties of these different types of plants under our tab about lavender.
In our East field, we planted several popular English lavender varieties and two varieties of lavendins. Our variety mix consists of:
English (True lavender) varieties
MELISSSA: Lavandula angustifolia 'Melissa' One of the smaller varieties. Sweet and fragrant with a spicy note – excellent for culinary use. Silvery pink flowers that fade to white. We like to cook with Melissa and we use it in dried bundles combined with Royal Velvet or Folgate for contrast.Here is our beautiful Melissa in bloom in the foreground in 2011
ROYAL VELVET: Lavandula angustifolia 'Royal velvet' A small to medium plant with dark violet buds and flowers. Excellent for dried bouquets and crafts. Mild scent, early-summer blooms, excellent dried for crafting and display. Royal Velvet makes a bouquet with lasting colour and fragrance.
MUNSTEAD – Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead' An older variety that has too often been grown from seed and can be very variable in terms of size, colour and hardiness. Nevertheless it makes a sweet oil and is excellent for crafts. It must be propagated from cuttings to keep a true strain.
FOLGATE – Lavandula angustifolia 'Folgate' is one of the earliest blooming angustifolias. Small to medium habitat with striking violet-blue blooms. Excellent for high quality oil and crafts as well as cooking.
The lavendins are a cross between true lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, and spike lavender, Lavandula spica. As a hybrid, it does not have fertile seeds and must be propagated by cuttings. This cross occurs naturally in its native environment in the Mediterranean when plants of the two species are pollinated by bees. The lavendins have been used traditionally for therapeutic and medicinal purposes and in soap-making and crafts. It is the smell most often associated with lavender.
GROSSO (Lavendin) Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso' – is called a "work horse" for oil production. A large plant with dark violet buds. Very fragrant - dries well for ornamental or crafting purposes. Grosso buds are excellent for potpourri. As a Lavendin it has a higher proportion of camphorous compounds than the English or 'sweet' lavenders. Lavendins are not used for cooking.