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Lavender - Introduction

Lavender is one of the most important plant nowadays. True Lavender oil distilled from the flowering spikes is the best oil of high aroma value and has a commanding position in perfumery, flavour & cosmetic industries. It is as popular today as down the centuries in the past. It is used as a component of many perfumery creations due to typical lavender note. Pure oil has substantial use in aromatherapy. The oil is traditionally used as antibacterial, antifungal, carminative, sedative, anti depressive and effective of burns and insect bites. Other products like lavender concrete, lavender absolute, lavender water and dried lavender flowers have an ever growing demand. Lavender marc left after the distillation of oil is used in agarbaties and as organic manure. Biological activities of various lavender species have been well documented (Cavanagh & Wilkinson, 2002). In view of its continued popularity and commercial value it was confirmed “Herb of the year 1999” in USA (Anonymous, 1999).


Genus Lavendula is represented by 39 species and 17 hybrids. In addition there are nearly 400 cultivars and field varieties reported from the genus. The great number of cultivated taxa substantiates the worldwide popularity and importance of lavender. Recently 3 major groupings have been reported to exist within the genus which had been previously recognized at genetic level. They are sub genus Lavendula, Farbicia and Sabaudia. (Upson and Andrews, 2004). However from the commercial point of view only four species have economic importance.

  1. Lavendula angustifolia syn. L. officinalis commonly known as English Lavender and formerly known as L. vera.
  2. Lavendula latifolia, commonly known as spike lavender.
  3. Lavendula stoechas known as Spanish Lavender.
  4. Lavendula intermedia, syn. L. hybrida commonly known as Lavandin. It is naturally occurring hybrid between L. angustifolia and L. latifolia. Among the field varieties derived from lavendula intermedia ‘Abrialis’ ‘super’ and ‘Grosso’ have achieved economic importance in view of the oil content and better rooting qualities (Upson & Andrews, 2004). It is extremely cultivated and commonly grown lavender dominating the world’s production of lavender oil which is approximately 2000 tons, of which 70% is lavandin. However the oil is inferior in quality in view of high content of camphor and low percentage of linalyl acetate (Shawl et al, 2008).

True lavender (Lavendula angustifolia Chaix. syn. L officinalis). is the most valued of all lavender species both for its high quality oil and as garden plant. It is a perennial bushy shrub 50-80 cm tall with attractive flowers borne in short compact to long interrupted spikes on a distinct and unbranched peduncle.The flowers are usually of violet –blue to purple shade. While each individual flower is relatively small when grouped together in each spike and open in succession over a period of weeks. The leaves are narrowly linear as compared to broader leaves in Lavandin.

Why not come and visit the Kashmir Festival at the farm and take time to walk amongst the rows of Lavender. Enjoy a Cream Tea or Light lunch in the wonderfully scenic views of Kashmir and visit our Gift Shop for our full range of Lavender products and more.
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