LAVENDER

Symbol of Provence, lavender is as seductive for its powerful perfume as for its soothing power as well as its ornamental beauty. It is a plant known for millennia for its perfume and its therapeutic virtues.

 

LAVENDER or LAVANDIN (Lavandula) ?

 

Both part of the family of labiates, Lavender and Lavandin (lavandula) are frequently confused but nevertheless different species. Genuine Lavender is an original species, whereas Lavandin is a hybrid, the result of cross-breeding genuine Lavender and Aspic. Genuine Lavender reproduces either through seeding or cuttings, but Lavandin is sterile and can only be reproduced through cuttings. Genuine Lavender can therefore be domestic or wild, whereas Lavandin can never grow in the wild.

 

Each Lavender seed yields a différent plant, hence the heterogeneous aspect of Lavender fields, whereas Lavandin plants, much bigger and "bowl-shaped", are rigorously identical due to the hybrid, or cloning operation. Altitude also plays a great role in the differentiation between the two species: whereas Lavandin grows at any altitude (from sea level to over 900m or 2,700 ft), genuine Lavender only at 350-400 m on up (about 1,000 to 1,200 ft) and never below.

 

One may also note the difference in the flowers and the leaves : genuine Lavender is recognized by its small stems (about 30 to 40 cm, or 12 to 15 in.) et by its smaller flower cluster, its "Lavender" color, whereas the Lavandin stem is longer (60 to 80 cm, or 24 to 32 in.) its flower cluster is thicker, more pointed and of color downright violet; it is also characterized by the presence of dual lateral "clusterets", located at the base.

 

Last but not least, the essential oil from genuine lavender, used in aromatherapy, is finer as a perfume, and sweeter. It has preserved all its therapeutic properties, whereas Lavandin essence, with a more acrid scent, has more "campher" and is practically no longer used in pharmacology. 

LAVENDER possesses antiseptic properties, appeasing and healing.

 

Common name :

Lavender of population (fine /genuine) : issued from seeds, each plant is genetically different.

 

Clonal Lavender : issued from cuttings drawn from a single original plant. The same individual plant, chosen for its qualities, is reproduced identically.

Botanical name : Lavandula angustifolia

 

Main varieties :

Lavender of population : Rapido, Carla

Clonal Lavender : Maillette, Matherone,

Blooming : from mid-June to mid-August

Scent : flowery, sweet and herbaceous.

 

Peculiarities of fine lavender :

Grows naturally in the mediterranean scrubland ("garrigues") between 600m and 1,400m altitude (1,800 to 4,200 ft)

Each plant is genetically different from its neighbor.

Plants' color varies from blueish white to blue.

 

Yield : 1 hectare of fine lavender produces about 15 kg of essential oil (1 acre yields about 13 lbs)

 

LAVANDIN (Lavandula) is recognized for its toning, relaxing and antiseptic properties

 

Common name : 

Lavandin

Botanical name : Lavandula angustifolia X Lavandula latifolia

Main varieties : Grosso, sumian, abrial, super

Blooming : from mid-June to mid-August

Scent : fresh, camphered

 

Peculiarities of Lavandin :

Natural hybrid, particularly vigorous, issued from crossbreeding (bee pollenization) between fine lavender and aspic lavender.

Grows at between 200m and 1,000m altitude (600 to 3,000 ft).

All heads are identical because reproduced through cuttings.

They give the illusion of very regular blue waves.

 

Yield : 1 hectare of lavandin produces about 100 kg of essential oil (1 acre yields about 88 lbs).

Harvest and distillation of lavender & lavandin plants :

 

Harvesting is done in July through early August.

 

The plants are collected with a pneumatic silo loader and loaded into an adjoining container. The container is then taken to the distillery and raised directly onto the boiler. The essential oil is obtained by water steam distillation of the plant passed through a still.

 

This product is 100% natural and is composed of a multitude of aromatic molecules from the plant. The essential oils are preserved in an airtight sealed vial, away from light and heat.

Virtues and Uses (Click on the lavender twig)