24
Oct

An Exotic Lavender to look out for.

I’ve previously written about my favourite lavender here in our Jersey Lavender gardens, but since there are so many I have to mention another – and I know there will be more.

If you are looking for something unusual for the garden then Lavandula x christiana, otherwise called feathered lavender, is one for you. It really is a real cracker and is increasingly available in UK garden centres. What the garden centres don’t tell you is that it isn’t hardy in the UK and when the temperature drops below + 5°C it is likely to die. That’s the downside, and though disappointing to lose the plant each year the upsides certainly outweigh this.

Christiana is one of those lavenders that doesn’t really look like a lavender. The flowers and leaves don’t look typically lavender, and the fragrance isn’t lavendery either – in fact the flowers don’t smell at all but the leaves do.  However it is a great looking plant. Attractive lacey-leafed foliage, long, strong stems with beautiful blue trident shaped flower heads, waving gently in the breeze.
Being a hybrid it tends to be quite vigourous, such that a small, 1 litre pot planted out in the spring will spread to a plant 2-3 feet across and 2.5 feet high by the end of the summer. From Spring to Autumn it will produce a constant display of flowers (always helped along by some deadheading), and if it does get a bit large a quick clip with the shears will bring it back down to size.

Outside, it won’t overwinter, but if you are lucky enough to have a conservatory or heated greenhouse and can get the plant into a pot it should survive until it warms up again. It also has to be one of the easiest plants to take cuttings from and produce plenty of your own plant stock for the following year.

So it you are looking for something abit different this is the plant for you.

For further, general lavender plant information see the Jersey Lavender – Looking After Your Lavenders page and Looking After Lavender FAQs page

Published Date: 24th October 2010
Category: Gardening with Lavender, General

4 Responses to An Exotic Lavender to look out for.

  1. Eliza says:

    I really like the look of the foliage on this lavender and the candelabra flower stalks are pretty unique, too. Thanks for sharing! You might be interested in submitting this for my new blog carnival on plant varieties:

    http://www.appalachianfeet.com/2010/11/12/how-to-join-the-new-blog-carnival-called-how-to-find-great-plants/

    • Alastair says:

      Thanks for your comments. It really is a cracking plant- the only downside being that it just isn’t hardy enough to survive UK winters, and therefore I suppose winters in many countries.

  2. Arthur Johnson says:

    I had Lavandula Christiana in my garden in England, it was a joy to behold and I have been trying to locate a source in Portugal where I could purchase either plants or seeds (I don’t know if seeds of this variety are available or whether it is propogated solely by division or cuttings?)
    As lavander is the national flower of Portugal and the climate is excellent, I am surprised that I cannot find an outlet here.
    I have enquired about transporting plants from the UK but the shipping costs are prohibitive so I am hoping that someone out there can advise me as to how I can once again experience the joy of this outstanding plant

    • Alastair says:

      I was surprised to learn that Lavender is the national flower of Portugal esp. since I have family connections there!! Christiana is a hybrid between L. canariensis and L. pinnata, in the section Pterostoechas. As a hybrid it is therefore sterile and can only be grown from cuttings, which we find very easy to do. Yes it is a shame that you cannot find it in Portugal. The notion of a garden centre seems to me to be in it’s infancy on Portugal, so I’m not surprised. Perhaps one idea is to find a gardening friend who can strike some cuttings in England this summer, and then post them out to you as small rooted cuttings. If you contact us we may be able to look at shipping a few plants to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*