English Lavender Vs French Lavender: A Comparison

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English Lavender Vs French Lavender are two of the most popular species of lavender. They are both beautiful and fragrant plants that can add a touch of elegance to any garden or landscape. However, there are some key differences between the two that are worth noting.

English Lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia, is a hardy perennial that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a compact plant that grows to a height of about 2-3 feet and produces narrow, gray-green leaves and spikes of fragrant purple-blue flowers. English Lavender is known for its sweet, floral scent and is commonly used in perfumes, soaps, and other fragrances. It is also a popular herb for cooking and is often used to flavor desserts, teas, and other dishes.

French Lavender, also known as Lavandula stoechas, is a tender perennial that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a larger plant that can grow up to 3-4 feet tall and produces thick, gray-green leaves and spikes of fragrant purple flowers with distinctive “rabbit ear” petals. French Lavender is known for its strong, aromatic scent and is often used in potpourri, sachets, and other fragrant products. It is not commonly used for cooking due to its strong flavor.

Understanding English Lavender Vs French Lavender

As a lavender enthusiast, I have come across various types of lavender, but the two most popular ones are French lavender and English lavender. Understanding the differences between these two types of lavender is essential for gardeners, landscapers, and anyone who loves lavender.

Classification

French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) are both members of the Lavandula family. However, they are different species of lavender.

Appearance

English lavender is smaller and more compact than French lavender. It grows up to 2 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide, while French lavender can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide. French lavender has a distinctive “rabbit ear” flower head, while English lavender has a more slender flower head.

Fragrance

Both French and English lavender have a sweet, floral fragrance. However, the fragrance of English lavender is more intense and considered to be of higher quality than French lavender.

Bloom Time

French lavender blooms earlier than English lavender, starting in late spring and continuing through the summer. English lavender usually blooms in mid-summer and can last until early fall. French lavender’s blooms last longer than English lavender’s.

Hardiness

English lavender is hardier than French lavender and can withstand colder temperatures. It is hardy in zones 5-9, while French lavender can only be grown in zones 8-11.

Overall, French and English lavender have some differences in appearance, fragrance, bloom time, and hardiness. Gardeners and landscapers should consider these differences when deciding which type of lavender to grow.

Uses of English Lavender Vs French Lavender

As a plant, both English and French lavender are highly versatile, and are used for a variety of purposes. Here are some of the most common uses for each variety:

Ornamental

Both English and French lavender are popular ornamental plants, and are often used in gardens and landscaping. English lavender is particularly well-suited to cooler climates, and is often grown as a border plant or in rock gardens. French lavender, on the other hand, is better suited to warmer climates, and is often used in Mediterranean-style gardens.

Medicinal

Lavender has a long history of use in traditional medicine, and both English and French lavender are known for their medicinal properties. Lavender is often used to treat anxiety and insomnia, and can also be used to treat headaches, depression, and other conditions. Additionally, lavender oil is often used topically to treat burns, cuts, and other skin conditions.

Culinary

Both English and French lavender are used in cooking, and can be used to add a subtle floral flavor to a variety of dishes. English lavender is often used in sweet dishes, such as cakes and desserts, while French lavender is often used in savory dishes, such as stews and soups. Additionally, lavender can be used to make tea, and is often used in herbal blends.

Overall, both English and French lavender are highly versatile plants, and can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color to your garden, treat a medical condition, or add a unique flavor to your cooking, lavender is a great choice. With its pleasant scent and numerous uses, lavender is sure to be a valuable addition to any home or garden.

Growing English Lavender Vs French Lavender

As an experienced gardener, I have grown both English and French lavender in my garden. In this section, I will share my knowledge and experience on growing these two types of lavender, including the best varieties, climate and soil requirements, and maintenance tips.

Best Varieties

When it comes to English lavender, I highly recommend Munstead, Vera, and Hidcote. These varieties are known for their compact growth habit, fragrant flowers, and hardiness in USDA zone 5.

For French lavender, Grosso and Phenomenal are two popular varieties that are drought-tolerant and thrive in USDA zones 7-9. They are known for their long-lasting flowers and strong fragrance.

Climate and Soil Requirements

Both English and French lavender prefer well-drained soil and full sun exposure. English lavender can tolerate a wide range of soil pH, while French lavender prefers slightly alkaline soil.

English lavender is cold-hardy and can withstand frost and snow up to -20°F, provided that the soil is well-drained. On the other hand, French lavender is frost-hardy but cannot tolerate extreme cold and wet soil.

Maintenance Tips

Both types of lavender are drought-tolerant and do not require frequent watering. However, they need to be watered deeply once a week during the growing season, especially in hot and dry weather.

Pruning is essential to maintain the shape and health of lavender plants. English lavender should be pruned in early spring before new growth appears, while French lavender should be pruned after flowering.

Fertilizer is not necessary for lavender plants, but a light application of balanced fertilizer in early spring can promote healthy growth.

In summary, growing English and French lavender requires some knowledge and effort, but it is rewarding to see their fragrant flowers and beautiful foliage in your garden.

Choosing the Right Lavender for You

When it comes to choosing between English lavender and French lavender, there are several factors to consider before making a final decision. Here are some tips that can help you choose the right lavender variety for your garden.

Consider Your Needs and Preferences

Before you decide on a lavender variety, consider what you want to use it for. Both English and French lavender are great for landscaping, hedges, and adding green foliage to your garden. However, if you’re looking for a more pungent, fragrant scent, French lavender may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle fragrance, English lavender may be a better fit.

Assess Your Growing Conditions

Another important factor to consider is your growing conditions. Lavender thrives in USDA zones 5-9 and prefers a dry, warm climate with well-draining soil. If you live in an area with a high humidity level or heavy rainfall, French lavender may be a better choice. Additionally, French lavender can tolerate slightly more acidity in the soil than English lavender.

Shop Available Varieties

When shopping for lavender plants, be sure to check the variety and read the label carefully. English and French lavender have distinct differences in appearance, including the shape and color of their flowers and leaves. Be sure to choose the variety that best fits your needs and preferences.

Tips from American Meadows

According to American Meadows, it’s important to note that both English and French lavender have a lifespan of about 10 years. To ensure a longer lifespan, prune your lavender plants regularly and avoid overwatering. Additionally, both varieties prefer full sun and well-draining soil.

Choosing between English and French lavender comes down to your needs, preferences, and growing conditions. By considering these factors and following the tips above, you can choose the right lavender variety for your garden and enjoy its beauty and fragrance for years to come.

Before You Go – English Lavender Vs French Lavender

After researching and comparing English lavender and French lavender, I have found that both varieties have their unique characteristics and benefits.

English lavender is known for its hardiness and longevity, making it a great choice for gardeners in colder climates. It also has a stronger, more herbaceous scent that is often used in cooking and aromatherapy.

On the other hand, French lavender has a lighter, sweeter scent that is often used in perfumes and cosmetics. It is less hardy than English lavender and may not survive in colder climates.

When it comes to appearance, English lavender has a more compact shape and shorter flower spikes, while French lavender has longer flower spikes and a more open, spreading habit.

In terms of essential oil production, both varieties can be used to create high-quality oils, but the chemical composition and aroma may differ slightly.

Overall, the choice between English lavender and French lavender will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you are looking for a hardy garden plant or a fragrant addition to your beauty routine, both varieties have something to offer.

English Lavender and French Lavender: A Tale of Two Herbs

Hello, herb enthusiasts! Today, we’re exploring the delightful duo of English Lavender and French Lavender. These two are like the yin and yang of the lavender world!

First, let’s talk about English Lavender. This hardy plant is a real trooper, thriving in cooler climates. It’s like the friend who loves winter sports!

On the other hand, we have French Lavender. This sun-loving plant thrives in warmer climates. It’s like the friend who’s always ready for a beach day!

For more herbal adventures, don’t forget to visit my homepage at theherbprof.com. Keep growing, friends!

References – English Lavender Vs French Lavender

Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988
Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Published by Dorling Kindersley

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Frequently Asked Questions – English Lavender Vs French Lavender

What are the culinary differences between English and French lavender?

Both English and French lavender are used in culinary applications, but English lavender is preferred for cooking because of its sweet and delicate flavor. French lavender, on the other hand, has a more pungent and slightly bitter taste that makes it more suitable for use in perfumes and other beauty products.

Can English and French lavender essential oils be used interchangeably?

Although both English and French lavender essential oils have similar therapeutic properties, they are not interchangeable. English lavender essential oil is milder and sweeter than French lavender essential oil, which has a more pronounced camphor-like aroma. As such, they are used in different ways and for different purposes.

Is it possible to grow English and French lavender in the same garden space?

Yes, it is possible to grow both English and French lavender in the same garden space. However, it is important to note that they have different growing requirements. English lavender prefers a cooler climate and well-draining soil, while French lavender thrives in warmer temperatures and soil with good drainage.

What distinguishes the leaves of English lavender from those of French lavender?

The leaves of English lavender are narrower and more silver in color, while the leaves of French lavender are broader and more gray-green in color. Additionally, English lavender leaves are more aromatic than French lavender leaves.

Which lavender variety is recommended for ornamental planting due to its beauty?

Both English and French lavender are beautiful plants that can be used for ornamental planting. However, English lavender is generally considered to be more attractive due to its compact size, vibrant color, and sweet fragrance.

What are the unique characteristics that define English lavender?

English lavender is a hardy plant that can survive in cooler temperatures and has a longer lifespan than French lavender. It is also known for its sweet fragrance, which makes it a popular choice for use in perfumes, soaps, and other beauty products. Additionally, English lavender has a more delicate flavor than French lavender, which makes it a preferred choice for use in cooking.

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