Scientific: Lavandula angustifolia (formerly Lavandula officinalis)
Common: English lavender, true lavender
Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: Spain

Pronounciation: La-van-DO-la an-gus-ti-FOL-ee-a

Hardiness zones
USDA 5-11

Landscape Use: Flowering accent, edging, herb or aromatic gardens, winter bedding plant.

Form & Character: Densely mounding and rounded except when in flower, formal, European.

Growth Habit: Evergreen perennial, mounding to 2 feet tall with greater spread.

Foliage/Texture: Opposite, sweetly aromatic, margins entire, lanceolate to linear-oblanceolate, 2.5 inches long by 0.25 inch wide, tomentose nearly white when immature to grey green at maturity; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Multiple, unbranched spikes to 3.5 inches long, verticillaster (whorled about the spike), 6 to 10 flowered, calyx about 0.25 inch long, 13-nerved, dense pubescent corolla twice as long as calyx, usually violet blue but cultivar dependent; fruit a nutlet, inconspicuous.

Seasonal Color: Flowers in spring.

Temperature: Best below 105oF, thus English lavender is difficult to near impossible to growth in Phoenix during the summer. Moreover, the hot weather and warm soil temperatures predipose English lavendar to root rot during Phoenix's hot and stormy weather of July and August.

Light: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained soil best, but tolerant of all but heavy clay. Avoid highly organic and amended soils as this will promote a more rangy, vigorous growth habit.

Watering: Regular, but will take some drought especially during the cooler season.

Pruning: Lightly shear occassionally and after bloom to promote a more compact appearance.

Propagation: Seed and sometimes softwood cuttings.

Disease and pests: Rot root in poorly drained soils.

Additional comments: Because of heat sensitivies, English lavender is mostly cultivated as a winter annual in Phoenix. There are MANY cultivated varieties of different growth habit and flower color. English lavender flowers attracts bees and butterflies and is differentiated from L. dentata (French lavender) by lack of marginal leaf dentations.

The genus Lavendula contains 39 species of aromatic herbaceous or woody shrubs and is commercially cultivated in temperate climates for a multitude of uses including pharmaceuticals, food and flavor industries, cosmetics, perfumery, and aromatherapy. Oil extracts (a colorless to yellow liquids) from lavendar are used in cosmetics, perfumes and medicinally and have been shown to have anti-fungal activity.