There is nothing more charming than the perfume released by Lavender (Lavandula) when brushing the flowers as you pass! Native to the Mediterranean area, Lavender was already used by the Romans to perfume their baths (Lavender derives from "lavare" in Latin meaning "to be washed") and even by the Egyptians who covered their bodies with the perfume of Lavender unguents.
How not to succumb to the urge of growing Lavender? There are over 450 Lavender varieties and finding the most fragrant Lavender plant is not always an easy task. Not all Lavenders are highly scented. Some varieties are wonderful as accent plants, but have little fragrance. Others might not look as spectacular, but exude a rich perfume.
Among the most fragrant Lavenders are the Lavandin plants (Lavandula x intermedia). Several cultivars of English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) are also prized for their delightful scent.
Lavandula x intermedia, also called Lavandin, offers the most fragrant Lavender cultivars. Lavandin is a hybrid cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. Cultivars are slightly less hardy than L. angustifolia, and are taller with mounds of gray foliage and long loose spikes. They tolerate hot (dry) weather better than English Lavenders. Cultivars are commercially grown for their high yield of oil which, however, is inferior in quality to L. angustifolia's oil. This Lavender type is great for hedges, rock gardens, as an accent plant and is also used in potpourris or as a culinary herb. Flowering typically occurs from early to late summer (generally 1 month later than the angustifolias)
To assist you in selecting the right plant, we have prepared this guide, which we hope will be helpful to you.