What variety of lavender is the best to grow? Here is a brief 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. We grow 15 different lavender varieties, and each variety fulfills a different need for our business. Here we will discuss what we use each variety for. Keep in mind there are many different species of lavender (plant in the genus Lavandula) and each species contains multiple cultivars. In the species Lavandula Angustifolia there are close to 100 cultivars. Considering there are multiple species there are 100’s of types of lavender. These are the varieties we choose to grow here on our farm
We grow two species of lavender on our farm. The Lavandula X Intermedia species is a hybrid of Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. This species is often referred to as Lavandin or French lavender. The Lavandula Angustifolia species is often referred to as English lavender or true lavender since it is not a hybrid.
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. Grosso is our work horse lavender!
We use Grosso for fresh bouquets, dried bouquets, dried bud, and essential oils.
Available for U-Cut
The Lavandula Angustifolia species is often referred to as English lavender or true lavender since it is not a hybrid.
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 could only grow one variety this would probably be it.
We use Royal Velvet for fresh bouquets, dried bouquets, dried bud, and essential oils.
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 of our customers. 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. Folgate is one of the first lavenders to bloom each year.
We use Folgate for fresh bouquets, bud, and essential oil.
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. It is an excellent essential oil producer and has a unique sweet lavender / vanilla smell.
We use Melissa for fresh bouquets and essential oil.
A very long stemmed lavender with very light purple/gray colored buds and flower and un-uniform stem length. The plant is quite large similar to Grosso, perhaps slightly larger. The stems are 18 to 24 in long but can vary drastically which makes this variety a poor choice for bouquets. However, Super lavender is primarily grown for the excellent essential oil it produces. The oil from super is often confused for an Angustifolia because of its sweet flowery scent and lack of camphor.
We use Super for essential oil only
(pronounced May-ette) 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 overwatering and likes very well drained soil.
We use Maillette only for essential oils.
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.
We use Royal Purple for fresh bouquets, dried bouquets and essential oil.
The color and bud formation on the head of this lavandin make this a very unique lavender. The head of the Hidcote giant is more compact and cylindrical compared to the spike formations of most lavandins. Stems can reach as long as 24″ and the plants are similar in size to other lavandins reaching 36″ in diameter of greater.
We use Hidcote Giant for fresh lavender bouquets.
Edelweiss is very similar to Grosso lavender and other spike lavandins except that the buds and flowers are white.
We use Edelweiss for fresh bouquets.
Gros Bleu is like most spike lavandins except the flower heads are much larger and spread out. Furthermore, the color of Gros Bleu is more similar to the deep blue / purple colors typically seen with Angustifolia lavenders.
We use Gros Bleu for fresh bouquets.
Similar to Edelweiss but not as bright white. Surprisingly it is less of a spike and more of a rounded flower head compared the Edelweiss.
We use White Spike for Fresh Bouquets
With silvery gray foliage and a less dense stem formation the Fred Boutin plant has a unique look compared to other lavandins. Fred Boutin like other lavandins has a light grayish purpler flower head and flowers with long stems reaching up to 24″
We use Fred Boutin for fresh lavender bouquets.
Provence is one of the most popular varieties of lavender grown in the world. Provence has dense and long light purple spikes with long stems. Provence’s softer lighter smell make it a favorite of many farmers.
We use Provence for fresh bouquets.
Hidcote Pink is small and compact like its plant cousin Hidcote (or Hidcote Blue). Hidcote Pink has dense cylidrical flower heads with short stems 12-16″ in length. The buds are a soft white color and blooms pink flowers.
We use Hidcote Pink for essential oils.
Silver Frost has beautiful fuzzy silver foliage. Silver frost has long stems like other lavandins but a bit more woody and stout than other lavandin plants. Moreover, the Silver Frost plant is a slow growing variety and can take time before it shows a large amount of stems. The flowers are a light grayish purple like Grosso but more cylindrical and fat like Hidcote Giant.
We use Silver Frost for fresh bouquets.
Seal is a very large plant like many other lavandins but can grow even larger than varieties like Grosso. Seal blooms earlier than most lavandins but is similar in color, stem length, and spiked flower heads. Seal does however have a sweeter scent compared to more camphory varieties like Grosso.
We use Seal for fresh bouquets.