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Lavandula angustifolia Lavender, English Lavender

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


Lavender produces gray foliage and purple flowers, although cultivars with pink, blue, lavender, or white flowers also exist. Most plants are 2 to 3 feet tall, but some cultivars are shorter and more compact. Soft leaves are borne on erect, square, tomentose stems. The plant is a perennial in the northern part of its range but may decline in zone 8 due to the summer heat.

Full Form - Lavandula angustifolia: Lavender, English Lavender
Figure 1. Full Form - Lavandula angustifolia: Lavender, English Lavender
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia

Pronunciation: luh-VAN-dyoo-luh an-gus-tif-FOLE-ee-uh

Common name(s): lavender, English lavender

Family: Lamiaceae

Plant type: herbaceous; perennial

USDA hardiness zones: 5B through 8 (Figure 2)

Planting month for zone 7: year round

Planting month for zone 8: year round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: cut flowers; ground cover; mass planting; attracts butterflies

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 1 to 3 feet

Spread: 2 to 3 feet

Plant habit: spreading

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: slow

Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: whorled

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: oblong

Leaf venation: none, or difficult to see

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches

Leaf color: blue or blue-green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: purple

Flower characteristic: pleasant fragrance; summer flowering


Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: unknown

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable

Current year stem/twig color: gray/silver

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay

Drought tolerance: unknown

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: 24 to 36 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

The plants grow best in a sunny location in a dry, somewhat infertile soil. Protect the crowns with several inches of mulch during the winter. Plants are more susceptible to winter injury when grown in wet, heavy soil.

Lavenders are widely grown as ornamentals; they are tidy, low-maintenance plants that serve well as borders, knots, in rock gardens, and with roses. They are very sensitive to pH, which should be kept above 6. They can be pruned in early spring.

The oil of lavender is a mainstay in perfumery, and the fragrance is widely used in soaps and cosmetics. Flowers for drying must be harvested before opening. They can then be bound together into aromatic and decorative wands, or incorporated in potpourris or sachets.

Cultivars include: ‘Backhouse Purple’, ‘Bowles Early’, ‘Folgate’, ‘Gwendolyn Anley’, ‘Hidcote’, ‘Irene Doyle’, ‘Lodden Blue’, ‘Mitcham Grey’, ‘Munstead’, ‘Rosea’, ‘Summerland Supreme’, and ‘Twickel Purple’. The cultivar names more or less describe the flower color.

Pests and Diseases

Leaves infected with leaf spot can be picked off.

Publication #FPS-337

Release Date:November 6, 2023

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About this Publication

This document is FPS-337, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman