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A cousin to the mint family, Lamiaceae, Lavender is a drought tolerant, fragrant plant that is rich in ornamental beauty. Often appearing as a blooming hedge, this low-maintenance plant can be an addition to any planting area. Use the shrubs along a driveway, walkway, or place in a pot on a patio and enjoy the lovely fragrance. Lavender shrubs form low-growing mounds when not in bloom, but when they flower, the mounds will put on a show with an eye-catching floral display. A lavender shrub features attractive foliage and beautiful, long-blooming flowers with a lovely scent. The intensely perfumed blue-violet, mauve, pink, or white flowers are often used for drying and making potpourri.
Varying in size, color and hardiness, this perennial shrub can fill many roles in your landscape. It thrives in hot, dry conditions and needs to be planted in a location away from thirstier plants; grows best in full sun and well-drained and alkaline soil. After flowering is completed, clip back close to the woody areas of stems, but not into the woody portion. Cut plants back to about the fourth bud above the woody section. This will decrease the size of a lavender bush, but it will result in a healthier plant in the future.
If you are looking for a lavender plant that produces an abundance of essential oil, choose the Grosso variety, which is a cross between English lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) and Lavendula latifolia, Producing purple flowers, Grosso forms a three foot dome. Having therapeutic properties, lavender has been used through the centuries to treat headaches, wounds, sore throats, and anxiety.
Many parts of the world plant vast fields of lavender that are popular with photographers and tourists alike.