Saturday’s article on lavender has produced quite a bit of email. I’m glad others share my fondness for lavender!
Although my husband likes English lavender, his favorite type of lavender is Spanish lavender. If you’ve never seen it, it looks considerably different than English lavender.
Spanish lavender is known for its distinctive flower heads, which are shaped like a pinecone or pineapple with deep purple bracts on top that look like flower petals. It’s not as fragrant as English lavender, and is not a good choice for culinary use, but the flowers offer a completely different look in your garden from English lavender. Plus. bees love the flowers.
Spanish lavender is shorter than English lavender, with most varieties growing around 18-24″ tall. It’s an excellent choice for containers and does well in hot weather and humidity, with most varieties blooming in spring. Most are not hardy in this area, as it’s native to the Mediterranean and northern Africa.
After it flowers, Spanish lavender tends to get leggy, so trim it back. Try planting it with marigolds for an attractive combination.
Here are some of the varieties of Spanish lavender available:
Madrid Purple: Rich purple flowers grow on spikes topped by large purple bracts on silvery foliage. A very good bloomer with a compact, upright growth habit.
Curly Top: The clusters of deep purple flowers are topped by curved pinky-purple bracts, on this variety.
Van Gogh: Flowers are soft lavender-violet, topped by white bracts. Looks like a crop of miniature pineapples.
Ballerina: Small, bright purple flowers topped with showy white bracts that mature to light pink. A bit smaller, growing to a height of 18″.