Botanical Notes

Lavender belongs to the mint family – a large family which includes herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, savory, oregano, balm and, of course, mint.

Not only does lavender come from a big family, it also stems from a very diverse species, with over 200 cultivars known. Each cultivar presents different sizes, shapes, petals, scents and yes, even colors.  At Terre Bleu, we currently have six different cultivars planted.  While some offer better oil production, others are great for decorative uses, some work best for cooking and some produce a unique white/pinkish bloom.

Many people often refer to lavenders as either English or French; however, true nomenclature and groupings are far more defined than that and historically there has been debate on the application of these classifications.

Lavender is typically classified in three general groups:  

English Lavenders/True Lavenders (Lavandula Angustifolia)

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Folgate

An early bloomer; great for fresh cut lavenders; tight bloom; looks good all year

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Betty’s Blue

Extra special to Terre Bleu co-owner Ian, as his late mother was affectionately know as Betty; the flower heads hold together well for drying and are great for wreaths

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Melissa

A pink lavender known for its sweet fragrance; a top pick for cooking in your favorite recipes

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Imperial Gem

Similar to true strains of Hidcote, but with larger heads; dark blue in color

Lavandins (Lavandula x-intermedia)

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Grosso

Half of our farm is dedicated to Grosso, as it is one of the best oil producing plants; this is the lavender with the strongest scent and is also great dried in sachets and wands

French Lavenders (Lavandula Stoechas)

Currently, we do not have any true French Lavenders growing at Terre Bleu, as they tend to not do well in our area and climate; however, many consider Grosso a French Lavender