Our 7 Favorite Lavender Varieties and Their Uses
We had such a fantastic time at the Southern Oregon Lavender Festival this last weekend. If you missed it, there’s another opportunity July 13 – 15, so mark your calendars! A lot of people who were visiting our lavender farm for the first time had questions about the different lavender varieties. They were curious about which ones made the best essential oils? Which ones were good for cooking? Which ones make long-lasting wreaths or sachets?
So I decided to share a little about the lavender varieties we grow here at our Southern Oregon lavender farm, Lavender Fields Forever. Keep in mind that this is just a starting point, if you’re exploring the world of lavender — we have seven lovely varieties out of over 400 to choose from!
Lavender Grosso: Used for essential oil, hydrosol, aromatic buds, wreaths, bouquets.
This lavender variety is a French hybrid with dark blue flower spikes. It’s a hardy grower and can thrive in both cold winter weather and hot, dry summers, which makes it a good choice for Southern Oregon. The bees love it, since it blooms well into mid-summer. It’s heavy blooms work well for lavender crafts like wreaths. It’s ideal for distilling as it produces one of the largest yields of essential oil. The aroma has a slight camphor note.
Lavender Gros Bleu: Used for essential oil, hydrosol, aromatic buds, wreaths, bouquets.
This lavender variety is also a french hybrid with dark blue and lavender beautifully tapered flower spikes. It’s more compact so it works well in garden borders. The aroma is gentle, soft and sweet smelling. It is a lovely choice for hydrosols and sachets. It also produces a substantial yield of essential oil.
Ana Luisa: Used for culinary essential oil and culinary buds.
This lavender variety is stunning with a combination of silvery foliage with deep purple blossoms. And we love the flavor so it’s one or our top choices for culinary lavender. Our ice cream maker uses the Ana Luisa in the Lemon Sorbet, available at the farm — refreshingly delicious!
Royal Purple: Used for culinary essential oil and culinary buds.
This lavender variety is indeed “royal” as it stands tall with hundreds of long-stemmed light purple flowers. It can be a beautiful addition to your landscape and we like it’s flavor too! We use Royal Purple in our dark chocolate gelato.
Miss Katherine: Used for wreaths, wands, and it’s pink instead of purple!
As much as we love purple, it’s nice having a lavender with beautiful pink blooms. This english lavender is fun to use in crafts where you want to showcase a new color.
Alba: Used in wreaths,wands, and it is white instead of purple!
This english lavender isn’t well-known but it’s color, abundant flowers, and lovely long spikes makes it a nice addition to a garden. And even though it doesn’t look like traditional lavender it has a lovely, powerful scent to enjoy.
Hidcote Giant: Used in wreaths, aromatic buds, bouquets.
This hybrid lavender is a powerhouse since it grows larger, has a strong scent and blooms later into the summer than traditional lavender varieties. The big, fat dark violet flowers are gorgeous and look beautiful as a bouquet on your table.
I hope you enjoyed exploring our favorite varieties in the world of lavender. If you want to learn more about lavender and how to use it, join me at one of our upcoming classes at the farm. And if you don’t live in the area, don’t forget you can enjoy fresh, fragrant lavender products from our Lavender Fields Forever online store.