Varieties Of Lavender
What variety of lavender is the best to grow? Here is a bief overview of the varieties we grow here at B&B Family Farm. These varieties are in order of the ones we have planted most to least on our farm.
Lavandula X Intermedia
A hybrid of Lavandula angustifolia and L. latifolia. Referred to by the French as Lavandins.
The Grosso lavender bush is up to 36 in in height. There are often one or two lateral branches on the stem. The Grosso flower are a violet-blue and the bud are a dark violet. The flower head is 2 to 3.5 in long and full of flowers. The stems are 12 to 24 in They make beautiful bouquets when dried. This is the most common variety of lavender and what most people think of when they hear the word lavender.
Royal Velvet is a beautiful dark navy blue, small to medium, 19 to 24 in size lavender plant, with full flower spikes that make lovely dried flowers. The floral area or spike of the plant is a cylindrical 3 to 3.5 in (7-9 cm). The stems are about 12 to 14 in The foliage is green-gray. It is one of our favorites because it makes the most beautiful bouquets, excellent lavender bud, great smelling oil, and can be used to cook with. If we had to grow one variety this would probably be it.
A bushy lavender variety, about medium height, 24 to 30 in . Spikes are 1 to 4 in. Stems are about 6.5 to 9 in. The leaves are a medium shade of green. Often called English Lavender but is not native to England, but was introduced there about 1933. It came to the Pacific West by the mid 1900’s. Its color is from light blue-violet to vivid blue-violet. It is a particularly fragrant and an average oil producer. It is our favorite variety for angustifolia bud. It is a culinary favorite. The stems tend to be crooked and the bud does not stay on the stem very well. It is why you most often see this variety as oil or loose bud.
(pronounced Mayette) Maillette is a medium height plant, 24 to 28 in, the stems are 7 to 10 in. The spike of the plant is 5 to 7 in long. The lowest whorl or flower bunch can be 2 to 3 inches below the main spike. The corollas (flowers) are blue-violet. Maillette was introduced in France by Pierre Grosso (of Grosso lavender fame). It has a unique and beautiful fragrance all its own. Maillette is often used for its oil, which has more linalyl acetate than most lavenders. It is not the most attractive lavender, but makes up for it in its smell. This variety is very sensitive to over watering and likes very well drained soil.
Melissa lavender is a bit nontraditional in that it has slight lavender pink flowers with white/pinkish bud. It has a bit of an nontraditional fragrance when made into oil, which we find appealing. Melissa has bushy dense green-gray foliage, and is 24 to 28 in tall. Its stems are 5 to 9 in. It was introduced by Van Hevelingen Herb Nursery in Oregon. It’s very pretty mixed with the traditional lavender colors and makes another unique culinary flavor when cooking.
Royal Purple lavender is very similar to a variety called ‘Twickel Purple’ which has an open bush, 28 to 32 in tall, stems 10 to 15 in long and beautiful blue-violet to dark blue-lavender corollas. This lavender variety was raised at Norfolk Lavender, United Kingdom, in the 1940’s. It’s grown for it’s ornamental plantings and culinary uses.
Lavandula X Chaytorae
A hybrid from L. angustifolia x L. lanata, Lavendula Chaytorae Ana Luisa. It grows to 30 to 36 in. The stems are about 18-24 in and make beautiful dry bouquets. The flower is a medium-dark purple and its foliage is a fuzzy gray-silver. The spikes are more rectangular than linear like the Grosso. This is a favorite on our farm. The buds are quite large and the silver frosty foliage really makes the plant stand out. The scent has a hint of citrus and is a unique lavender variety.
soft pink to mauve pink flowers with another distinct fragrance fresh cut, dried or distilled for oil. The plant is of medium size about 28 in with bushy green gray foliage. The stems are about 6 to 8 in with full spikes that turn white to cream when dried. This angustifolia came from the United Kingdom before 1958. Because of the dried color of the bud of this variety we only use this variety for oil. It is a beautiful plant when it blooms but the beauty fades once dried
A compact deep rich blue lavender. The plant can reach up to 25 in with 12 in stems but the stems are often much shorter 3-8 in. The flower heads (spikes) are full and uniform in shape. It makes a great container plant with a sweet fragrance and blooms in mid summer.
The original plant was smaller 15.5 to 24 in than the two other varieties called Nana 1 (Imperial Gem) and Nana 2 (Princess Blue). Our Nana variety is called ‘Dwarf Blue’, a bushy compact plant, 12 to 18 in (30.5 to 45.5) with the very fragrant and vivid purple flowers of the original Nana. Its heavy spikes bloom in mid summer, July. Gray-green foliage heightens the purple blooms. The flowers are a light almost periwinkle blue/purple.
Lavandula X Intermedia
White Alba lavender is basically the white version of Grosso lavender. This white version of lavender is very similar to Grosso from its size, shape, and smell. The only difference is its color. The bushy plant makes almost a perfect 36 to 42 in sphere. Unlike other white lavenders this lavender dries beautifully and is a great accent in bouquets and wreathes. White Alba is a different side of lavender, this lavender shows the varrying range of color in the lavender world.
Lavandula X Intermedia
Provence lavender gets its name from the region in France where it is commercially grown for the perfume industry. Mature plants are 24 to 36 in . The flower corollas are a light violet found in abundant spikes up to 4 in. The plant is a pleasing gray-silver and has great curb appeal. It is frequently used as a culinary lavender and is one of the only Intermedia species that tastes well enough to eat. Other than Grosso this is one of the most common varieties of lavender. Because this variety is very heat tollerant, it is often grown in southern states (California, Arizona, Texas etc.). Because of this most Sequim farms do not grow a lot of this variety since the market is flooded with it from these other regions.