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Lavandula angustifolia (also Lavandula spica or Lavandula vera; common lavender, true lavender, narrow-leaved lavender or English lavender(though not
native to England); formerly L. officinalis) is a flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to the western Mediterranean region, primarily in thePyrenees and other mountains in northern Spain.
It is a strongly aromatic shrub growing to 1–2 m tall. The leaves are evergreen, 2–6 cm long and 4–6 mm broad. The flowers are pinkish-purple (lavender-coloured), produced on spikes 2–8 cm long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10–30 cm long.
The species name angustifolia is Latin for "narrow leaf". The genus nameLavandula simply means lavender. Previously, it was known as Lavandula officinalis, Latin for "official lavender" or "true lavender", which is one of itscommon names. This indicated it was the official medicinal lavender.
English lavender is commonly grown as an ornamental plant. It is popular for its colourful flowers, its fragrance and its ability to survive with low water consumption. It does not grow well in continuously damp soil. It is fairly tolerant of low temperatures, generally considered hardy to USDA zone 5.
In addition to its use as an ornamental plant, the flowers and leaves are also used as an herbal medicine, either in the form of lavender oil or as an herbal tea. The flowers are also used as a culinary herb, most often as part of the French herb blend called herbes de Provence.
Lavender essential oil, when diluted with a carrier oil, is commonly used as a relaxant with massage therapy. Products for home use including lotions, eye pillows—including lavender flowers or the essential oil itself—bath oils, etc. are also used to induce relaxation. Both the petals and the oil are the most popular ingredients in handmade soap.
Dried lavender flowers and lavender essential oil are also used as a prevention against clothing moths, which do not like their scent.
Often considered to have three groups, based on growth height characteristics - dwarf, semi-dwarf, and tall (giant) varieties.
'Hidcote Superior'. Compact evergreen shrub 16”x18” with fragrant gray-green foliage and deep violet-blue flowers in summer. Full sun, well drained soil, low water. Hardy to -20 degrees F. Western Mediterranean species
'Munstead' (syn. Dwarf Munstead, Munstead Blue and Munstead Variety) L. angustifolia variety. 12" tall, having pink-purple to lavender-blue inflorescences that are slightly fragrant.  Named after Munstead Wood in Surrey which was the home of Gertrude Jekyll.
'Sarah' 6-24" The flowers are petit, as is the plant. It is quite nice to use as a short edging, or as a very fragrant addition to the window box. Dark violet flowers.
'Lady Lavendar'. 18” tall. Fragrant gray-green foliage and lavender-blue flowers in summer. Full sun, well drained soil, low water. Hardy to –20 degrees F.
Bowles Early, Hidcote Variety, Loddon Blue, Martha Roderick, Jean Davis, Twickle Purple, Pink Perfume.
'Hidcote' (syn. Hidcote Variety, Hidcote Blue, Hidcote Purple) L. angustifoliavariety. 15" to 20" tall, with silver-gray foliage and deep violet-blue inflorescences. Named after Hidcote Manor in England as it was cultivated there by Major Lawrence Johnston.
'Jean Davis' 20-24" tall, up to 3ft. A pale pink flowered Lavender with exceptionally fruity taste
'Pink Perfume' 24" x 18"
Alba, Blackhouse Purple, Biostos, Bridestowe, Graves, Gray Lady, Gwendolyn Anley, Hidcote Giant, Irene Doyle, Mailette, Middachten.
'Hidcote Giant'. A Lavandula x intermedias lavandin. Very vigorous grower (36 - 40 inches) with a lovely strong fragrance. This has large deep Lavender-purple flowers on very long 24 inch stems.
'Vera' 30-36". Thought to be the original species lavender, harvested for its oil.