Lavender, French

An evergreen ornamental herb, 'French' lavender is tolerant in winter zones 8-10. Grows best in full sun as an edging plant in flower beds in sandy or well-drained loam soil. Blooms can be harvested for drying, which takes 2-3 days. Pruning helps maintain shape and allows it to be used as a hedge border in the garden.

Dried blossoms can be made into sachets and put with linens to ward away moths. Linen spray with lavender oil does the same thing and makes fabrics smell floral sweet. Air fresheners and insect sprays are commercial uses of lavender oil.

'French' lavender is a common cooking herb in southern France. One of the most popular recipes is for lavender cookies. Lavender has been used to flavor and scent jellies, sorbets, vinegars and baked goods. It is very intense, and best to use sparingly. French lavender is grown, sold more commercially and more abundant. English comes in second , but is usually more expensive. The lavender blossoms are harvested for culinary use.

The 'French' lavender is considered an invasive species to Australia . The state of Victoria has declared it a noxious weed since 1920. Topped lavender is such a nuisance that in other parts of Australia, either it falls under Prohibited or Controlled weed regions.

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