Lavender is a name generally applied to a group of small woody plants, grown as herbs and for ornament. The commonest forms are given the botanic name of Lavandula angustifolia (formerly L. officinalis). A wide range of cultivated forms can be found.
The plant is much grown in gardens. Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Dried and sealed in pouches, they are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and as a deterrent to moths. The plant is also grown commercially for extraction of lavender oil from the flowers. This oil is used as an antiseptic and for aromatherapy.
Other commonly grown ornamental species are L. stoechas, L. dentata, L. multifida.
The name Lavender also refers to all plants of the genus Lavandula., which includes annuals, herbaceous plants and sub-shrubs, and small shrubs. The native range of the genus extends across the Canary Islands, North and East Africa, south Europe and the Mediterranean, Arabia, and India.
Classification: Lavender is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae.
The word "lavender" is also used for several shades of the color purple.