Understanding Lavender


Lavender originated in the Mediterranean regions. Its use has been mentioned in the Bible. A brief classification for Lavender is provided here, as there are many textbooks with fuller outlines.

The main uses of lavender take advantage of its hospital grade antiseptic qualities. Lavender is used for minor cuts, abrasions and burns. It is very good for its calming qualities and is helpful in curing headaches and insomnia. It is excellent in preventing inch and pain from most insect bites. People use it in oil burners, baths and to freshen rooms.


Angustifolia - indicates a "English" lavender

These plants are small, require dry air, cold winters and hot summers The flowers are small but have intense blue/purple colour with a very sweet smell. These lavenders can be used for culinary purposes or for the manufacture of perfume. They flower in early November in this area. Angustifolia (English True)and Latifolia crossed to produce the Intermedia's or Lavandins.

Intermedia's - These are a hybrid of English lavenders and they have the grey foliage and flower form of the English lavender but are larger, more robust, have natural camphor (which is desirable for the linen cupboard) and the larger flower head contains much more oil. This oil is correctly referred to as Lavandin oil.

  • Dentata - Known as French Lavender in Australia. These plants are more resistant to humid conditions but can be killed by severe frost. They flower over much or the year and need to be pruned regularly. They are called dentata as a reference to the tooth-like edges of the leaves. Their perfume is not their most desirable quality.
  • Stoechas - Italian Lavender. These are upright plants with the petals at the top of the flower that are often referred to as "butterfly wings". These plants will also stand more humidity and again are best in the garden as they have little commercial value. They seed easily.
  • Allard's Lavender or Allardii
  • Sidone (sometimes referred to as Australian Lavender)