Content Detail

Lavender produces fragrant spikes of light purple flowers that bloom from midsummer to late summer. It prefers dry, sandy soils in sunny locations. Lavender is a staple of herb gardens, edible gardens, cottage gardens, cut-flower gardens, sensory gardens, and rock gardens.

  • Family (English) Mint
  • Family (botanic) Lamiaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Dry soil, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Purple
  • Shape or form Broad, Round, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Wildlife Butterflies, Insect pollinators

Size and method of spreading:

At maturity, lavender is between 2 to 3 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. It spreads by self-seeding.

Native geographic location and habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)

The native range for lavender includes the Mediterranean region of Europe. 

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

Lavender attracts bees and butterflies.

Leaf description:

The fragrant leaves of lavender have short white hairs covering the top and bottom of the leaves. The hair gives the stem and leaves a grayish appearance. The leaves are small and much longer than wide (lanceolate to linear), growing up to 2 inches long. The edges of the leaves roll under slightly, and the midvein is prominent from the underside. They occur in densely packed, opposite pairs that are at a right angle to the pairs directly above and below (decussate). Lavender leaves are evergreen in warm climates.

Flower description:

Lavender flowers are fragrant and have a purple, tubular, petal-like structure (corolla) that separates into two lips (bilabiate) at the tip. The lower lip is divided into three lobes, and the upper lip divides into two lobes. The base of the corolla is surrounded by a hairy structure (calyx) that is shaped like an urn. The flowers occur in dense spikes at the terminal ends of the stems.

Fruit description:

Lavender produces small, dry fruit that separates into four sections (schizocarps). The calyx from the flower is persistent, forming a cuplike structure in which the fruit matures. 

Plant Care:

Soil must be well-drained, as lavender does not like to have wet feet, especially in the winter. Lavender prefers low fertility, rocky, or sandy soils. Deadheading can promote additional flowering. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Lavender is susceptible to issues with leaf spot and root rot. It is tolerant of drought and dry soils. 


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