Friday, February 4, 2011

Lavandin, Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'

Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'

It is too hot and humid here on the coast to grow English or true Lavender (L. angustifolia) but this Lavandin thrives and flowers all through summer releasing perfume, while keeping lots of bees happy. Lavandin is a sterile hybrid between English lavender (L angustifolia) and Portuguese Lavender (L latifolia) and was discovered and developed by Monsieur Pierre Grosso (1917-1996) in Provence, France in the early 1970's. It is now the main oil producing variety in that region and other parts of the world. After his death M. Grosso was returned to his native Italy near Torino and was laid to rest as Pietro Grosso. Apart from his namesake variety 'Grosso', I also grow the equally worthy 'Super', 'Seal' and Abrialis'.The main difference between these and true lavender is in the quantity of camphor contained in the oil distilled from the flowers. It is about 7% thus making it a useful as an insect repellent or for inhaling if you have a cold or want to freshen a room. If you are looking for a variety for cooking you need the sweeter English lavender to use in biscuits or ice-cream. Whatever type you decide to grow, they benefit from a top dressing of dolomite lime from time to time, even in a pot, and little or no fertilizer in a free draining soil. For more information on the Lavender V Lavandin debate the blog listed below is a terrific source of information:
The Jersey Lavender Farm Jersey Blog.
2017 update: I no longer grow this plant.

1 comment:

  1. Lavanda, what a good plant.. and very useful.. i love her parfum..