Lavandula Angustifolia vs. Intermedia

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Two of the most common species of lavender are lavandula angustifolia or "true lavender" and a hybrid lavandula intermedia or "lavandin" (which is a hybrid of angustifolia and latifolia).

Like good wine, every variety has its unique properties based on plant, terroir, and farming practice. However, there are some generalizations you can make.

Lavender Connection multi-colored fields of lavender
Culinary lavender is delicious!

5 Replies to “Lavandula Angustifolia vs. Intermedia”

  1. Sally

    Love this. A fun “lesson” in lavender. What a great addition to the site. Love you all and the farm.

  2. Yvette

    Excellent info! We planted lavender in our home garden this year and were wondering about exactly these questions while standing in a plant nursery. I think we have intermedia.
    Will #askfarmerrick next time.

  3. Barret McDermid

    Hey, great post. We are a South African x British family living in France. We are beekeeper and are thinking of starting a small lavender farm (2300m²) We want to branch out into soaps and oils. We have been told by our local garden centre that intermedia will grow better in our area but he is not sure what is will be like for extracting oil? What would be your opinion on intermedia vs English lavender in this regard? Thank you 🐝😊

    1. Rebecca Olson[ Post Author ]

      Barret – great question! Your local garden center is correct: lavandula x. intermedia essential oil is the worldwide leader for bath, body, and home products. The primary reason is that intermedia plants produce more oil per plant than angustifolia – sometimes significantly so (we have some intermedia varieties that produce 3-4 times more oil per run than an angustifolia). Thus, the oil is less expensive to purchase and/or a higher price point for your products if you are distilling it yourself. Because this type of lavender is the lavender most commonly used, it’s also the scent customers are familiar with and expecting. For these reasons, while the angustifolia oils are lovely and would make great oil for products, the intermedia is your best bet. The most common intermedia variety used in products is probably “Grosso” – though there are many others we like as well. I’m not sure what your garden center has available for you. I recommend researching which intermedias grow best in your area, and then based on that list, which ones farmers like for oil. Though honestly – I’ve never smelled an intermedia I didn’t like. Good luck!

  4. Culinary Lavender: What is culinary lavender? | Lavender Connection

    […] lavandula intermedia does have noticeably more camphor in it than angustifolia (check out our angustifolia vs. intermedia blog), so be prepared for more bitterness, and compensate by adding less lavender than the recipe calls […]

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