English Lavender is a shrubby perennial from the genus Lavandula with the Latin name angustifolia meaning "narrow leaf". See the picture in header top left for an example of English Lavender in flower. Also known as Common Lavender or True Lavender synonymous with Lavandula officinalis as it was previously known due its official medical designation and use.
Right English Lavandula angustifolia image by H. Zell
English Lavender Plants
Lavandula angustifolia Lavenders are Munstead, Hidcote Pink, Hidcote, Royal Velvet, Sarah, Jean Davis, Lady, and Vera to name just a few. English Lavender alone has over 40 different named varieties of plants with the broadest range of color choices available from white Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia alba), to pink (Lavandula angustifolia rosea), then to the deepest royal purple (Lavandula angustifolia hidcote) spanning the full Lavender color spectrum.
New ! Culinary English Lavender 6 Pack for Your Garden. Early, Mid and Late season bloom as well as different flower colors. All plants well suited for culinary use if you choose. What a value!
Includes only sweet angustifolias: Melissa (Pink), Buena Vista (Light Purple), Betty's Blue (Blue Purple), Folgate (Blue Purple), Purple Bouquet (Dark Purple),and French Fields (Light Blue-Purple)
Botanically speaking there really is no such thing as "English Lavender" but refers to the geographical region where it is often found growing. See where to buy English Lavender.
English Lavender Growth Characteristics
English Lavender cultivars can be divided into three groups based on the growth height characteristics of the plants. There are Lavenders that can be used as a low edging anywhere from 6 - 12 " in size. Great for bordering a flower bed or garden path.
There are those plants too that can be 4 feet tall and wide calling attention to themselves. They are good for camouflaging some yard aspect you wish to hide. You are also blessed with the full size range in between. These groups of English Lavenders consist of dwarf, semi-dwarf, and tall varieties.
There are two kinds of leaves for this plant. The main ones are opposite and whorled in shape and oblong-linear. When the plant is young the leaves are gray but as the plant matures the leaves are green. The secondary axillary leaves are more narrow in shape and persistently grayer with a whitish hairy appearance.
Cutting flower blossoms often results in a second round of flowering. English Lavender flowers can range in color from dark lavender to pink and are used for various crafts or recipes such as one to make your own Lavender Oil.
The height ranges from 2-3 feet for most English Lavender plants and the spread can reach up to double that. Lavandula angustifolia are good plants for along sidewalks and driveways where the fragrance can greet those that walk and were very popular in cottage herb gardens .
How to Grow English Lavender
English Lavender is a sun loving plant which requires a alkaline sandy soil (ph 7.1), with good drainage. Lavender hates "wet feet" and humidity so avoid these plant growing conditions and learn more about growing Lavender plants - English Lavender Care .
This is a good plant for rock gardens and English Lavender attracts butterflies too! This plant is native to the southern parts of Europe and the northern parts of Africa. It grows naturally on dry stony mountain soils and prefers those high in dolomite (lime) and can be grown just about anywhere if you mimic it's preferred growing conditions.
English Lavender Growing Conditions
English Lavender is a sun loving perennial herb plant for growing in zones 5-8 with mid to late spring bloom time. It is known as a xerophyte which by definition is a plant that has adapted to living in dry climate conditions. Poor soils are not a problem and are in fact preferred over rich moist ones. This makes Lavender perfect for sun drenched planting locations such as a hot dry bank that can be a real landscape problem area and can still withstand cold conditions during fall and winter typical with zone 5.
French Lavender and Spanish Lavender are not cold hardy and prefer Mediterranean climate conditions.
History of English Lavender Plants
Also known as Lavandula spica because it is a spica type Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia was once called by one of it's synonyms Lavandula officinalis. This indicated that this was the true variety, the one "officially" designated specifically for medicinal use and was the Queen's favorite plant. Vera Lavender (Lavandula vera) also called Fine Lavender or True lavender is thought to be the real English Lavender variety.
Scent of English Lavender
English or angustifolia Lavender is the plant that yields that sweet true highly coveted pure fragrance that is distilled and used in English Lavender perfumes and colognes, aromatherapy, English Lavender soap and other Lavender products that we all know and love.
Not all of the plants from this species smell the same and some have a smell which is more medicinal (the hybrids also called Lavandins) due to the compounds in the oil. The plants that produce these lesser grade oils are used to scent cleaning products or to cut and stretch the more higher grade oils. Learn ways to use pure Lavender Essential Oil.
The Lavandula angustifolias (English varieties) due to their sweet essence are the best for culinary use. Learn about Lavender extract from flowers for use in your favorite recipes.
English Lavender Plants For Sale - Find out where to buy English Lavender for your garden.