English, Spanish, Spike, Lavandula angustifolia, stoechas, latifolia English, Spanish, Spike, Lavandula angustifolia, stoechas, latifolia

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Species of Lavender

What makes the Lavender Species?

     There are a lot of different types of Lavenders and they grow across different continents of the world.  There are about 39 different species known. All Lavenders belong to the genus 'Lavandula' and are in the plant family known as Labiatae. This plant family also includes other garden herb plants such as Thymes, Mints, Rosemary, Basil, Sage and Savory.

     These herbs share some characteristics in common.  They all have Lavender flowers that are "lipped" in form which is why the plant family name of Labiatae or the newly accepted botanical term Lamiaceae.   Their stems when cut cross-wise are square in appearance. Lastly, these Lavender plants are all aromatic and fragrant and can be used to make distilled Lavender essential oil.

Butterflies and other beneficial insects are attracted to the flowers of all these plants.

Different Plant types in the Genus Lavandula

     The genus known as Lavandula can be divided into different generic groups based on types of growth characteristics.  I know that this seems confusing so I will try to break it all down here.

     These generic groups or types of Lavender plants consist of the Stoechas, Spicas, Pterostachys, English or True Lavenders (referring to fragrance) and Lavandins (the hybrids.)

     Most common or garden Lavenders are members of the Stoechas and Spica groups. While the more unusual Lavender species that grow and are cultivated in areas of New Zealand and Australia belong to the third group known as Pterostachys Lavender.

     Visit each group to see what differentiates it from the others.

     Lavender has been given national names such as English, Dutch, Spanish, French, Bulgarian and Italian which simply adds to the confusion because they are names given to varieties most commonly grown for that particular country or region and none are actual varieties of Lavender but types of Lavender.

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