Very hardy lavender – angustifolia (True Lavender)
These very popular tough little lavenders are the most reliable and effective for the border or for hedging. Their sweet scent and colour are evocative of the warm, lazy days of summer. Hardy to at least -15°C, they will cope with anything the British weather throws at them.
Typically angustifolia or True Lavender has a compact habit and is narrow-leaved, to which the epithet angustifolia refers. The foliage is green-grey or grey-green and forms about half the height of the bush. It has short flower stalks and short cylindrical flowerheads. The flowers appear in June and July and have a rich sweet scent. In our olfactory experience the paler forms tend to have the stronger scent. This is the most popular species grown in England for oil extraction, yielding high quality, low camphor oils used in expensive perfumes and aromatherapy.
These cultivars, particularly those that are richly coloured, are excellent for culinary use. The delicateness of their soft, sweet scent is a perfect accompaniment to flavour and infuse desserts and salads. They’re also great for colouring pot-pourri and for bunching (drying on the stalk).
See also: Very Hardy Lavender x intermedia Hardy Lavender x chaytorae