Carolee's Herb Farm

Carolee's Herb Farm

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Lavender Varieties Print E-mail



Lavender growing at Carolee's Herb Farm
Varieties of Lavender on display at the farm

The “English” Lavenders (Lavendula angustifolia)

Generally hardy, if given well-drained soil and full sun.  Do not mulch with wood chips!

"Ashdown Forest"-Short bloom stalksof pale blue-lavender flowers, highly fragrant.  Fairly compact, forming mounds about 20” tall. From Nutlin Nursery in East Sussex, England, 1985. Survived a variety of conditions for over ten years!
"Baby Blue"-Very compact, with vivid violet blooms.  A tough little character!  Not as dwarf as Peter Pan though. 18" tall
"Betty's Blue"-a really tough plant for the landscape.   Compact, tidy.  Medium lavender-blue blooms on short stems.  One of our most reliable and early, too! 18"

"Bleu des collines"-just planted in 2012, and made it so far! Supposedly 18" tall and dark violet
"Blue Cushion"-tidy, compact mounds. Performs well for us. Lightly fragrant, medium color. It is said the proper name for this lavender is actually "Schola".  It was discovered in Ipswich by Joan Schofield, and the propagation rights were purchased by Blooms of Bressingham, who named it Blue Cushion for commercial reasons. 12"

"Blue Dwarf"-sadly, we lost all the test plants the first year.  First time that's happened to us, so I can't recommend it.

"Blue Lance"-coming in 2014

"Blue Mountain"-Dark purple flowers on 10" stems.  Fragrant, 18-20"
"Blue River"- lavender-blue blooms, 14"
"Blue Scent"-Doing well, good fragrance.  Bushy form, 20"
"Bowles' Early"-medium lavender blue blooms, and one of the earliest to bloom.  Strong aroma.  Discovered in a Scottish garden, taken to a grower in Middlesex in 1913.  14"
"Buena Vista"-medium lavender blooms with nice long stems.  Often reblooms. A bit sprawly for my taste.  Flowers must be cut before opening to dry well.  Selected in 1981 by a grower in Oregon. 18-20"

"Cedar Blue"-very bush, dense, compact mound. Blue-toned lavender blooms, very aromatic.  From Muntons, Suffolk England, 1994.  Reliable. 16"

"Chelsea Pink"-just planted in 2013, so we'll let you know.  Supposed to be light pink, 18"

"Coconut Ice"-16" in height, short stems. Blooms are a pale pink and white. Slow growing and not as hardy as Melissa, Pacific Pink or Miss Katherine.  Bred by Virginia McNaughton in 1997 in New Zealand. 
Croxton’s Wild”- fluffy light lavender-blue blooms, vigorous. Not quite as compact as other English varieties. One of my favorites because it blooms so early, and its flowers are so fat and cute. Very tough and reliable.  Original plant was from seed collected from the wild in Europe by Pauline Croxton. 20”
"De Lavande"-light lavender blooms.  Originated in France, high oil content.  20"
"Dwarf Blue"-very compact, not as reliably hardy as Blue Cushion.  We will no longer offer plants of this variety.
"Fiona English"-Erect form, dark purple on medium stems, 24-30." Mild aroma.  From New Zealand.
"Folgate"-one of my favorites.  Dark purple blooms, upright, very productive and blooms early.  From Folgate Nursery, Norfolk, 1924. 20"

"Fring Favorite"-Violet blue flowers on long stems, 20"
"Graves"-another winner, with medium lavender blooms, tidy, 22"  This is an American cultivar, 1985.  Very reliable for us.
"Gray Lady"-compact grower, long stemmed for an angustifolia, bring lavender-blue blooms on tidy mounds of narrow gray foliage.  From Wayside Gardens, Ohio before 1967.  Dries well.  22"
“Hidcote”-from the famous Hidcote Manor in England, 1920.  Noted for its dark blue blooms. Generally offered as erratic seed-grown plants, but ours are "Hidcote Select" and true to name.
"Hidcote Pink"-pale pink blooms on a compact plant.  18"  Also from Hidcote Manor, pre-1958.  Semi-dwarf and very reliable.
"Imperial Gem"-very, very dark blooms, tidy, 18"  Slow growing for us, but worth the wait for the vibrant dark blooms.  Introduced by Norfolk Lavender in 1960.
Jean Davis” - Pinkish white blooms on a tidy plant. 15” Not as pretty as Miss Katherine though.
Lady”-All-American winner, blooms first year from seed.  In our experience, rather spindly, and only lasted one season.  We do not offer it at the farm.
"Lavance Purple"-seed grown and not especially exciting, so we rarely offer it.

"Little Lottie"- very fragrant pink blooms on a dwarf, compact plant.  12" A real charmer.
"Loddon Pink"-More a lavender-pink than pure pink, but nicely upright with strong stems. Columnar form rather than mounded for us.  Very hardy and reliable.  Introduced by Loddon Nurseries, Twyford England prior to 1948.
"Mailette"-A really lovely plant with dark purple blooms.  We have three different "Mailettes/Maillettes" from 3 different growers!  We propagate the darkest, nicest one.  22"
"Martha Roderick"-an old variety, low compact, pale lavender blooms.
“Melissa”—long-blooming with unusual flowers, pink and white mixed (look white from a distance).  Compact habit, 20” in bloom.  Extremely tough...we've never lost a Melissa plant in the field!  Blooms early and is very productive.
"Miss Katherine"-a spreading width and medium height to form a pretty mound. Very fragrant. An award-winning pink that is very reliable for us.
"Mitcham Gray"-not always hardy for us, but worth the risk.  Deep purple blooms and silvery foliage. An American cultivar from about 1978. 20"
Munstead”—the most common, readily available in most garden centers, but often seed grown so can vary widely in form, fragrance, and color.  Our stock plant has medium blue-lavender blooms. Originally selected by Gertrude Jekyll in her garden, Munstead Woods, England.

"Nano atropurpurea" -a dwarf form with exceptionally long flower heads of medium lavender-blue on short plants that stay tidy.  Available since WWII.  12-15"

"Norfolk J-2"- In its third year for us, although we lost 1/3 of the plants the first winter.  Violet flowers with exceptional fragrance.  16-20" 

"Pacific Pink"- Mauve-pink flowers on 10" stalks and compact.  22"

"Pale Pretender"-3' tall with violet blooms, which doesn't sound too "pale" to me!  It had a high mortality rate its first year, but those that survived are doing well.

Pastor’s Pride”-dark lavender blooms on somewhat sprawly plants.  Loose-flowered, early bloomer.  Released by Well-Sweep Farm, New Jersey, 1980.  18"

"Peter Pan"-Velvety dark purple flowers on 6-8" stalks.  15"  A new favorite, for its long bloom period and dwarf form. Has proved very hardy for us.

"Potpourri White"-Nice bushy form, pure white blooms.  20"
"Premier"-a really nice medium lavender color on short stems, tidy plants.  Very reliable for us.  20"
"Princess Blue"-Vigorous plant with medium "blue" flowers.  From Norfolk Lavender, England, 1960.  Open form as it ages, traditional lavender scent.  22"
"Provence Blue"- Quick growing, medium lavender blue blooms.  22"
"Purple Bouquet"- Showy dark blooms, reliably hardy through its fourth year for us.  Nice stem length for an angustifolia. 24".

"Rebecca Kay"-just planted in 2013.  Said to be lavender-blue and 18" tall.
Rosea”—pink flowered variety, fragrant.  Not as uniform as Jean Davis. 18"
"Royal Purple"-Similar to Royal Velvet, but so far, not as long-stemmed. Very pretty color.  Bred by Norfolk Lavender, 1944. 22"
"Royal Velvet"-a real show-stopper.  Deep violet blooms on long 10"stems.  Flowers hold tight to the stems when dried, and dry even darker. Prolific. This is the one to use for wreaths! Not especially fragrant, but holds its color well.  From VanHevelingen Nursery, Oregon, 1988. 20"
"Sachet"--light purple blooms, very fragrant.  A bit sprawly. 18"
"Sarah"-very pale lavender, fluffy blooms on slightly sprawling plants.  Often reblooms. 20"
"Seal Seven Oaks"-A vigorous upright plant, rather columnar. Blooms are a soft lavender on medium stems. Very durable.  From the Herb Farm at Seal, Sevenoaks, England.  24"

"Skylark"-a super selection from Skylark Nursery, California, 1980's.  Prolific bloomer with a light, pleasant aroma.  Violet-blue group.  Long-blooming, 20-22"

"Sleeping Beauty"-very pretty, medium lavender blooms on long stems.  Late-bloomer, 24"

"Summerland Supreme"-just planted in 2013 even though it is a fairly well-known, older variety
"Tucker's Early Purple"-named for Art Tucker, early as the name implies, and purple, too!  Said to be a cross between Mitcham Grey and Irene Doyle.  Not quite as tidy and compact as some. 12-14"
“Twickel Purple”—an old English variety, very fragrant, lavender bloom.  Not always hardy for us.  Selected for the purple cast to the foliage as the temperature cools in autumn.  From Holland, 1922.

"Two Amys"-just planted 2013.
“Vera”—ancient English variety, some claim the “true lavender”.  Compact. 18"

"Victorian Amethyst"-compact, light amethyst flowers on 10" stems.  Originally from Canada, but introduced by Dutch Mill Herb Farm, Oregon, 1988.  Reliable for us, and a different color, so we value it.  Very tidy mound, 22"

"Vincenza Blue"-a bit sprawly, but winters well.  A seed-grown variety, so we generally don't offer it.  In the lavender-blue group.  18"

"Violet Intrigue"-Vibrant dark flowers on lovely long stems, often reblooms.  Very showy when planted in groups. 22"
White Dwarf”—a white-bloomed English form in a compact form. Wintered well for us the first year, but we lose a plant now & then in a harsh winter.
"Wyckoff" -Large dark purple blooms in a mid-size plant. Nicely upright and tidy. From L.J. Wyckoff, Seattle, 1960. Very hardy and reliable for us. 28"

The “French” Lavenders (Lavendula dentata)

Tender perennials, requiring average soil, sun, and a bit more moisture than the English types.  Grow quickly during one season, usually reaching 24”.  Winter in pots indoors.
"Allardii"-silvery foliage with a lightly toothed edge, tall, quick growing.  Light lavender blooms.  28"
French Green”-quick growing, fragrant foliage.  Pale, pale lavender blooms.  Nicely “toothed” foliage.
Goodwin Creek Gray”—fast-growing with silvery, velvety foliage.  Bright purple blooms all summer!  Young plants bloom at an early age.
"Lambkins"-fast-growing with silvery, soft leaves.
Linda Ligon”-variegated green and gold foliage. Named for the founder of “Herb Companion” magazine.  Pale, pale lavender blooms.
"Serenity"-more compact, green foliage very toothed.  Nearly white blooms.

The Lavandins (L. angustifolia x L. latifolia)

Reputed to be less rot-prone over wet winters than the English types, but not quite as reliably hardy.  Need excellent drainage and some protection from bitter winds, as they are quite tall—often 24-36”  Long, long bloom stalks, often 15” or more!
"Abrialli"-distinctive, deep purple blooms on 12" stems.  We picked over 200 long, long stems from individual 2nd year plants!  From France, where it is grown for oil production.  Not as hardy as some, but worth the space.  Give it lots of space, can reach over 4' in diameter!

"Caty Blanc"-a somewhat lanky plant, tall with pure white loosely spaced flowers on very long stems.  Winters well for us.   28"
“Dilly Dilly”-from Australia, where there are several lavender farms growing acres of lavandins.  Narrow, dark lavender blooms begin blooming before Grosso.  32"
"Dutch Mill"-rom the famous Dutch Mill Nursery.  36” tall, gray-green foliage, long bloom period.  Soft lavender-blue blooms on very long stems.  Good for floral work.  36"

"Edelweiss"-Another white form.  We have not yet field tested this variety.
"Fat Spike"-Some question as to whether this is just Grosso with a different name, but our plants seem to be slightly different. Nice purple color and long stemmed, very prolific. 30"
“Fred Boutin”-vigorous variety, usually growing wider than it is tall. Very silvery-gray foliage that remains tidy.  Landscapers grow this one for the mounds of silver and few flowers to have to dead head!  Only 18” tall, violet blooms when they choose to appear.

"Grappenhall"-one of the larger lavenders, dark aster-violet flowers on long stems.  Very old, 1913 from Clibrans of Manchester, England.  Sometimes called "Giant Grappenhall" for is size.  Fragrant, 36-40"

"Gros Bleu"-Fragrant dark blue flowers on 12-15" stalks.  New to us this year.
Grosso”-one of the standard varieties now used in the field production in France.   Usually grows 20-24”. Deep violet blooms on long stems. Extremely productive--300 stems on 3rd year plants!
"Hidcote Giant"-the name says it all.  Silvery foliage, very long stems of fat violet blooms.  From Hidcote Manor, England, 1957.  The bloom shape is distinctively different.  Extremely tough and reliable. Fragrant!  36"

"Impress Purple"-Fragrant dark purple flowers on 12-15" stalks.  Just planted in our field, so we'll see how it winters.  24"

"Lullingstone Castle"-from Hopley's in England, 1987.  Slender light violet-blue flowers on 8-10" stems over silver mounds.  Blooms slightly later than some.  Generally reliable in our field.  22"

"Marge Clark"-A pale lavender bloom on fairly long stems. Named for our Hoosier auther/herbalist Marge Clark, who gave herbal cooking demonstrations across the country before her death in an automobile accident.  Generally hardy over winter.  22"

"Old English"-really nice plant with "fluffy" soft mauve flowers on medium stems.  Prolific.  Released about 1917 in England. Very fragrant. 34"
“Provence”—Highly fragrant, used in field production of lavender oil.  Bloom stalks are often 20” in length.  Mauve-lavender blooms that often fall off the stems when dried.  Actually bred in Canada in the 1950's.
"Seal"-very tall, long stems. When you see it in the garden, it has a "thinner" look than most of the other lavenders.

"Super"-we've had this one for years.  Huge blooms on long stalks.  You can make some big wands with this one! 35"

"Sussex"-said to be highly fragrant with pale purple flowers on 18" stems...flower heads can reach over 8" long! 30-36" 

"White Provence"-Extremely hardy and reliable. Pure white blooms on long stems.

Others (Intersectional Crosses)

"Andreas" (L. angustifolia x L. lanata) This is cross is often called L.Chaytorae  because is was first written about by hybridizer Dorothy Chaytor in 1937.  The cross results in a plant with the very silvery, felty leaves of Woolly Lavender (L. lanata) but more hardiness from the angustifolia parent.  More of these appear on the market each year.  Andreas has been growing in our field for about 3 years and has generally done very well, although it is generally listed as Zone 7 hardiness.  Compact, short stems with purple blooms. 24"  Very branching.
“French Lace” (Lavendula multifida) green, toothed foliage, purple blooms, even in winter on a windowsill! Not hardy in winter outdoors.

"Joan Head"-(L. angustifolia x L. lanata) Silvery foliage, dark purple blooms. Long stems, 24"  Doing very nicely so far!  Survived minus fourteen and very wet conditions.
“Otto Quast Spanish” (Lavendula stoechas) unusual, “tongued” blooms of dark purple. Not hardy outdoors in winter. I have trouble getting it to bloom!
"Richard Gray"A very showy lavender, with white foliage, dark flowers. Reputed to be Lavandula x chaytorae, discovered in the mid 1980's at Kew Gardens, London. Similar to "Sawyers", but shorter, and sprawls a bit more for us.  Not always hardy in the toughest winters, but we put it at the north end of the field, where it gets some protection from the wind, and so far all have survived after four years.
"Sawyers"-the most white-leaved lavender we grow. Supposedly not hardy here, but ours has been in the field for 4 years with no protection, even in below zero weather!  We sometimes lose plants if we have a spell of very rainy weather in deep winter, then plunging temperatures overnight to below zero. Lavandula lanata. Very deep purple blooms, low growing.

"Silver Frost"-did not make it through its first winter here.

"Silver Sands"-coming in 2014

“Sweet Lavender” (Lavender heterophylla) reputed to be the highest in oil content.  Taller than the English, but not as silvery as the lavandins. Not hardy outdoors in winter above Zone 7.
"Woolly"-(L. lanata) very white, velvety leaves, made it through the first winter here, but sadly, not the second so we no longer have it!