Shrub to 1.5 m tall. Leaves to about 5 cm long and 0.5 cm wide, mostly linear to narrowly oblong, lower ones often longer and flatter, mostly grey; margins generally rolled under. Flower spike 2-7 cm long, the lowermost cluster of flowers distanced from the others. Bracts ovate, strongly pointed. Flowers in clusters of 6-10; mostly early to late summer, some cultivars producing a second flush. Calyx mostly 5-6 mm long, with 13 veins, toothed, the upper tooth with a projection. Petals about 1 cm long, purplish to blue, pink and white. [L. officinalis Chaix., L. spica L. in part, L. vera DC. in part.]
Commonly cultivated and with many cultivars which, unfortunately, are very difficult to identify. The wide range of plant habits and flower colours may well be the result of seedling variation. Plants raised from the seed of cultivars may show wide variation and unnamed seedling selections have undoubtedly been perpetuated as cuttings.
The descriptions for the cultivars are largely extracted from Tucker & Hensen (1985), currently the most authoritative reference, providing some standard in a difficult area. Tucker is investigating oils as a means of 'fingerprinting' particular cultivars.
Source: (2002). Lavandula. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Available in Europe since the 1600s.
Some plants generally placed here may be L. ×intermedia 'Alba'.
Medium-sized bush with lavender-blue flowers on fairly short stems, light fragrance; Dec on into summer.
Joseph Bosisto worked with eucalyptus and lavender oils in a factory in Richmond, Victoria, in the mid-19th century. This is Australia's first lavender cultivar.
Early flowering dwarf, flower heads woolly, deep purple. [L. 'Hidcote Dwarf', L. 'Hidcote Blue'].
First introduced from Hidcote Manor, Gloucester, UK, by L. Johnston in 1950.
Sometimes listed as L. 'Nana Atropurpurea', which is a different plant.
Similar to L. 'Hidcote' but larger and more prolifically flowering, with dark purple flowers and greyish foliage.
Semi-dwarf with a short flower spike, mostly 1-1.5 cm long. [ L. 'Lavender Lady']
The original material is sourced from Melton Nursery, Victoria. It was introduced from America in mid-1993, grown from seed and sold under the name L. 'Lavender Lady'.
Compact shrub to about 45 cm tall. Flowers pale pink.
Introduced in the UK in 1950 by T. Carlile.
Pink-flowering cultivars have been confused with one another and the distinctions between L. 'Loddon Pink', L. 'Nana Rosea' and L. 'Rosea' are not clear.
Like L. 'Hidcote', but flowers bluish and occasionally shaded pink. [L.'Munstead Dwarf']
Introduced in the UK in 1916 by Barr.
Compact, dwarf shrub with white flowers.
Introduced in the UK by Musgrave before 1938.
Dwarf, possibly the same as L. 'Hidcote'.
Flowers rosy pink, on long stalks. [L. 'Nana Rosea']
Introduced in the UK before 1937 by Musgrave.
Plants sold as L. 'Hidcote Pink', L. 'Jean Davis' and L. 'Loddon Pink' may be this cultivar.
Vigorous medium to tall bush with lavender flowers in long heads.
The flowers dry well.