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About LavenderAbout LavenderAbout Lavender

Varieties of Lavender

Fine / True Lavender

Fine/ true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), as it is often referred to, grows from 800 metres to 1800 metres above sea level, as a small cluster with 5-7 rows of single flowers on each stem. This helps us to differentiate fine lavender from lavandin. There is a variety of fine lavender called Maillette lavender. Whilst you may find many different varieties of Lavandula angustifolia in a field of fine lavender, Maillette lavender plants look almost like clones.

  • Botanical Family: Lamiaceae or Labiatae (mint)
  • Extraction method: Steam distilled from the flowering top

Key constituents:

  • Linalyl Acetate (24-45%)
  • Linolol (25-38%)
  • Cis-beta-Ocimene (4-10%)
  • Trans-beta Ocimene (1.5-6%)
  • Terpinene-4-ol (2-6%)

Spike Lavender

Spike lavender grows from 400 to 800meters. It has many spikes per stem and grows in large clusters. Like fine/ true lavender it reproduces by seed.

Lavandin

Lavandin grows between sea level and 800 metres above. It is a hybrid which came about through bees transporting pollen from the true lavender to the spike lavender. Like spike lavender it grows in very large, round clusters with 7-12 rows of single flowers on each stem. It either has 1,2, or 3 spikes. It may have 1 like the fine/ true lavender or 2 like the spike lavender, or it could have 3.

Much less expensive to grow than true lavender it is used on an industrial scale to scent many of the household products we use each day. Although often confused with true lavender it has a considerably less subtle aroma. Another contrast with true lavender is its comparative lack of health supporting benefits.

Lavandin does not produce seed. Reproduction is achieved by cutting which happens in autumn which leads to more wood. The cuttings are left in sandy soil throughout winter without light to grow roots, but not flowers. Although some farmers buy ready-to-plant plants, others have their own greenhouse for reproduction. Additionally, plants are also grown in greenhouses from seed. The cultivation of lavandin is highly industrialised and employs specialised machinery and equipment.

Wild True Lavender

Wild true lavender is considered the best lavender in the world. It is pure and only grows where the conditions are ideal, between 700 and 1000 metres.

Wild lavender shares the same properties as the cultivated lavender, but also possesses a wider range of molecules, some of which are quite rare.  This is comparable to differences between meat from wild/organic sources and conventional meat.