Lavender belongs to the Mint family, a large family which includes herbs such as sages, thymes, rosemary, savory, oregano, balms and mints.
Despite some setbacks lavender has become an increasingly valuable farm crop through the 20th century and has also undergone a great resurgence in favor as a garden & landscaping plant.
Lavender is derived from the Latin ”lavare” which means “to
wash” and that is what the Romans did with it. The lavender of choice
at the Roman baths was Spanish lavender (L. stoechas) and French lavender
Some lavenders have unusual or particularly beautiful flowers while others stand out for their foliage, both color and shape.
The biggest differences between lavenders are in their heights, flower colors, size of flower heads and time of blooms.
English lavenders tend to bloom in early summer, lavandins in midsummer. The darkest colors are among the English lavenders while the tallest plants and longest flower stems and largest flower heads are among the lavandins.
The lavender flower is made up of two parts:
Corolla – What we usually think of as petals. Most often violet colored though some are white or light pink.
Calyx – Range from very deep purple to light violet/green. When lavender flowers dry, corollas fall out or shrivel up and only the calyx color remains. So when you choose a lavender for drying, it is the calyx color that matters.