Lavender is a beautiful plant that is popular for its scent and also the pleasing and muted appearance of the petals. Lavender is a plant that can be used decoratively, or can be used as an infusion. In addition, the oils from the plant can be extracted and used in aromatherapy treatments or for medicinal purposes.
What many people do not realize is that there is more than one type of lavender plant, and that the plants have different looks depending on which region they are from. The different varieties of lavender plant all fall under the banner of lavandula.
These different plants vary in not just size but also scent and color. While most people think of lavender as a pale purple, the plants can be white, pink, yellow, indigo, royal purple, red and any shade in-between those. They are all strikingly beautiful, and they all have a large number of petals.
A lot of growers like the dwarf lavender varieties because they are small, easy to take care of and quite hardy. They can be grown almost anywhere, from a window box to a proper garden.
As well as differing in size and color, the foliage of the plants can differ too. For example, the Lavandula Viridis has yellow-green foiliage, while the Woolly Lavender has fuzzy-grey foliage and the Lavandula Dentata has perhaps the most stunning fern-like foliage. Also of note is the bright silver-velvet leaves that characterize the Lavandula Chaytorae and the softer, lacey leaves of the Lavendar Pinnata and the Lavandula Multifida.
The length, narrowness and configuration of the leaves varies with each type, and this is caused in part by adaptations to the climates in which they are most usually found.
Spanish varieties of lavender are the most recognizable because of the single, pineapple-shaped head. Other varieties have more or fewer flowers, and some have a forked end instead of a single head at the tip of the flower.
Most people think of Lavender as having a specific, relaxing fragrance. The English culinary varieties of lavender have the scent that is most commonly associated with the herb, and there is also the aromatic hybrid varieties. The more hardy latifolias have a sharper, stouter fragrance but it is still one that can be enjoyed.
The choice of lavender for your garden will depend on whether you want to decorate with it, use it for the scent, or use it for infusions. You may also need to think about the climate, and the type of soil in your garden. While some varieties of lavender are quite hardy, others are more demanding when it comes to the conditions they are grown in. English varieties tend to be lower maintenance than Spanish varieties, for example. However, with the right care you should be able to grow almost any variety in your garden, producing a beautiful look and giving you a nice start for your own personal herb garden