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The Aromatherapy Garden - Lavender Types

by Penny Price May 03, 2020 5 min read

The Aromatherapy Garden - Lavender Types

Lavender is a hardy perennial shrub part of the Lamiaceae family, A staple of Aromatherapy and of many aromatic gardens, with bright blue to purple flowers with wonderfully uplifting and calming scents. Lavender flourishes best in dry, well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils in full sun. (Suited to pots and in the ground with enough room to grow and good drainage)  

There are many several different types of Lavender Essential Oils available on the market, below are some of the Lavender Oils available from Penny Price Aromatherapy. All Lavender, but what exactly are the differences between them?

Essential Oil

Latin Name 

 Lavandin Abrial

 Lavandula x intermedia   Abrialis

 Lavandin Super

 Lavandula x intermedia

 Lavender English

 Lavandula angustifolia Mill

 Lavender French

 Lavandula angustifolia 

 Lavender High Altitude

 Lavandula angustifolia

 Lavender Spike

 Lavandula latifolia

 Lavender Stoechas

 Lavandula stoechas 


As you can see from the table above there are 7 different lavender essential oils here alone many with the same or slightly varied Latin names. As with most plant species, there can be different varieties of the same plant. As we can see from the table above there are 4 main types of Lavender.

Lavandula Latifolia - Lavender spike
Lavandula Stoechas - Lavender Stoechas
Lavandula Angustifolia - Lavender English, French, High Altitude
Lavandula X Intermedia - Lavandin Abrial, Super

What is the difference between Lavandin and Lavender?

Lavandula x intermedia known as Lavandin is a class of hybrid plant that was created by crossing Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. Lavandin hybrids tend to be larger in size with flowers ranging from grey to blue colours. It is mostly grown for commercial use as the flowers yield more oil than Lavandula Angustifolia or Lavandula latifolia. Others species of Lavandin include Grey Hedge, Silver grey and Alba.

Lavandula latifolia, Spike Lavender is also known as broadleaved Lavender, Aspic or Lavendula Spica, Lavandula Latifolia grows to about 1 metre high with grey-blue coloured flowers.

Lavandula angustifolia known as True Lavender, Common Lavender, French Lavender is a highly aromatic plant with blue-violet coloured flowers. There are many varieties if Lavandula Angustifolia such as Lavender Stoechas, French, English and Spanish Lavender are different varieties of Lavendula Angustifolia all with varying scents and characteristics.

Lavender French has a sweet, floral, warm, fresh aroma. Lavender French smells significantly different from Spike Lavender and marginally different to Lavandin. Lavender French is calming, relaxing, soothing and rejuvenating. 

The saying ‘if in doubt use lavender’ is, in the main, true.  Lavender has a wide range of therapeutic effects.  It is analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, sedative, cardiotonic, cicatrizant (healing), emmenagogic and hypotensive.  It is best known for its stress-relieving properties, treating headaches, burns, wounds, irregular periods, asthma, eczema, acne, candida, aches and pains and high blood pressure.

Lavender English has a sweet, floral aroma and is calming, relaxing, soothing and rejuvenating, the smell is less sweet than French lavender.

It is a hardy herb has a delicate purple-blue flower in spring and summer.  Grown in Norfolk, Oxfordshire and Kent (usually) this hardy perennial has been bred to house a proportion of the essential oil glands internally so that harvesting does not affect the majority of the oil. Indigenous to the Mediterranean region but is now cultivated all over the world. The oil is mainly produced in France, Spain and England.

Lavender Spike is a water-white or pale yellow liquid with a penetrating, fresh-herbaceous, camphoraceous odour.

It is an aromatic evergreen shrub that grows up to about to 1 meter high with lance-shaped leaves, broader and rougher than the True lavender. The flower is more compressed and of a dull grey-blue colour. Indigenous to the Mediterranean region but is now cultivated all over the world. The oil is mainly produced in France, Spain and England. There are many different varieties of Lavender, the cotton Lavender and the sea Lavender belong to different botanical families.

Lavender Stoechas has a sweet, floral, warm, fresh aroma with balsamic undertones and a woody hint. Lavender Stoechas is circulatory and invigorating.

A hardy herb has a delicate purple-blue flower in spring and summer that is quite different from the traditional lavender flower, being quite short and spiky. The plant is much smaller and less spectacular. Indigenous to the Mediterranean region but is now cultivated all over the world. The oil is mainly produced in France, Spain and England. There are many different varieties of Lavender, the cotton Lavender and the sea Lavender belong to different botanical families.

Lavender High Altitude has a sweet, floral, warm, fresh aroma it smells significantly different to Spike Lavender and marginally different to Lavandin. Lavender High Altitude is calming, relaxing, soothing and rejuvenating.

It is a hardy herb has a delicate purple-blue flower in spring and summer. It is not to be confused with larger cross-breeds of the lavender family, such as spike or lavandin, as it does not have the same essential oil properties, or appearance, being much smaller and less spectacular. Common to Europe, the flower from this plant yields one of aromatherapy’s favourite essential oils.

Lavandinalso known as Dutch Lavender is fresh and floral. Lavandin super is a cleansing oil, to help balance and maintain a healthy respiratory system.

Larger than true lavender with woody stems and purple-blue flowers, which are abundant. It is mainly cultivated in France and Spain. The natural growth of this plant occurs in the mountainous regions of Southern France where both parent plants grow wild at different altitudes. 

Cuttings and Dried Flowers

When you come to drying out your lavender flowers the best time is just before the flowers have started to open, cutting from near the bottom of the stem, not at the top really close to the flowers. You can then bunch the cut lavender together tie near the bottom then hang it upside down to dry out. Try not to leave it in a damp spot, give it some warm light to help dry out. (don’t leave in direct sunlight though as this risks the flowers shrivelling up/turning brown) After around 2-4 weeks once it is completely dry you can then gently rub or shake the small flower buds off and store in a jar.

Some Uses for Dried Lavender Flowers 

Lavender Sachets - Popping some of your dried Lavender flowers into a small linen bag can be used in many ways!


.

Pop into your clothing drawers and cupboards to keep fresh with a lovely lavender aroma. 

Great for using as a car air fresher just hang it from your mirror as normal

Pop-under your pillow to help get a great nights sleep. 

Sprinkle a few Lavender lowers into your bath for a luxurious treat - if you don't want flowers floating in your bath just pop a few into a sachet as before and pop it in your bath as it fills up.  

Follow our Social Media for more, next week our log topic will be on macerating oils and using your dried flowers in the process as well as more tips on what to do with dried herbs and flowers. 

Penny Price
Penny Price


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The Aromatherapy Garden - Lavender Types – Penny Price Aromatherapy