Lavender has many names,  English Lavender, Lavandin, French Lavender, Spanish Lavender etc.   Here we hope to explain some the lavender vocabulary used at our farm and around Sequim, the lavender capital of the United States.

True Lavender

The first word in our lavender vocabulary is True Lavender.  True Lavender is a reference to any lavender in the species Lavandula Angustifolia.   Sometimes you will see this lavender referred to as Lavandula Oficianalis which is not correct.  Most often when you see this it means they don’t know what type of lavender it actually is so be aware.   There is no species Lavandula Oficianalis

AKA:  Lavender, English Lavender, Culinary Lavender

Characteristics of True Lavender:  There are almost 100 varieties in this species so there are a lot of variances.  However,   varieties in the species Lavandula Angustifolia tend to be shorter stemmed (8-12″ long) darker almost blueish purple (there are whites and lighter purples also).  All varieties in this species can be used for culinary purpose because of

Royal Velvet Lavender Bunch

Lavandin Lavender

Lavandin Lavender is a reference to any lavender in the species Lavandula X Intermedia   Sometimes you will see this lavender referred to as Spike Lavender. 

AKA:  French Lavender, Hybrid Lavender, Spike Lavender

Characteristics of Lavandin Lavender:  There are quite a few varieties in the species Lavandula X Intermedia so there are some variances between varieties.  In general, however, varieties in this species tend to have more of a spiked flower head opposed to the cylindrical flower head of Lavandula Angustifolia.  Lavandins have very long stems (16-24″ long).  Lavandins tend to have a stronger scent with more of a camphorous smell as opposed to the sweeter and softer smell of Lavandula Angustifolia. In general lavenders in the species are not used for culinary purposes.  However, so  people use the cultivar Provence for culinary use because of its low camphor content.  

B&B Family Farm Olympic Mountains

French Lavender

French Lavender is a reference to any lavender in the species Lavandula X Intermedia   Sometimes you will see this lavender referred to as Lavandin. Also in other parts of the world you may here French Lavender referred to as Lavandula Dentata or even Lavandula Latifolia.  However, around our farm and Sequim you will often here French Lavender used for Lavandula X Intermedia varieties 

AKA:  Lavandin, Hybrid Lavender, Spike Lavender

Characteristics of French Lavender:  There are quite a few varieties in the species Lavandula X Intermedia so there are some variances between varieties.  In general, however, varieties in this species tend to have more of a spiked flower head opposed to the cylindrical flower head of Lavandula Angustifolia.  Lavandins have very long stems (16-24″ long).  Lavandins tend to have a stronger scent with more of a camphorous smell as opposed to the sweeter and softer smell of Lavandula Angustifolia.  In general lavenders in the species are not used for culinary purposes.  However, so  people use the cultivar Provence for culinary use because of its low camphor content.  

Grosso Lavender Bunch

Spanish Lavender

Spanish Lavender is a reference to any lavender variety in the species Lavandula Stoechas.  Since all lavenders are in the mint family there are hints of mint any many of the different types of lavender.  However, the hints of mint are very strong in the Lavandula Stoechas species.  Spanish lavender is one of the first species to bloom and will bloom all summer long if pruned and trimmed properly.   You will often find this variety around cityscapes as an ornamental plant.  However, you will not find many of these on farms because they lack very little commercial value.  Spanish lavenders are short stemmed, they don’t dry particularly well, and they don’t smell as sweet as English or Lavandin Lavender.  

Spanish Lavender

Lavandin Essential Oil

If you read about about the differences between lavandin lavender and true lavender this will follow similarily.  Lavandin essential oil is essential oil from the variety Lavandula X Intermedia.   This species tends to produce more oil than Lavandula Angustifolia.   Thus,  Lavandin oils tend to be less expensive.  Also, if you are buying lavender oils online be careful because often times lavandin oils are labeled as Lavandula Angustifolia oils.  Most people will not notice the difference but a side by side comparison is quite staggering.   Lavandin oils are pleasant but strong smelling.   Thus, they are most often used to create lavender products like soaps and lotions because the scent stands out more.  The scent is also more camphorous than Lavandul Angustifolia oil.  

Essential Oil Copper Alembic Still

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil refers to any lavender in the species Lavandula Angustifolia.  In general, all lavenders under the genus umbrella of Lavandula are generally referred to as lavender.   However, when it comes to essential oils, Lavender essential oil is specific to Lavandula Angustifolia essential oil.  Angustifolia lavender oil is sweeter than lavandin oil.   In addition, this species of lavender does not produce as much oil so the oils tend to be more expensive.  Lavender essential oil is proffered for aromatherapy where lavandin oils tend to not be used.  

Full of Lavender Copper Alembic Still