There are as many as 39 different species of Lavender, the most common being Lavandula angustifolia (sometimes called ‘English’ or ‘true’ lavender) and Lavandula x intermedia (often shortened to lavandin). Lavandin is a is a sterile hybrid between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia (Spike lavender), as indicated by the ‘x’ in its botanical name, the inclusion of which is in compliance with the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
Here at the Jersey Lavender Farm we grow and distil both Lavandula angustifolia (referred to simply as ‘Lavander’) and Lavandin (often referred to as ‘Grosso’).
So what are the differences between Lavender and Lavandin?
One main difference between lavender and lavandin is their differing scents. Lavandin is compromised of approximately 7% camphor, higher than true lavender. This gives it a much stronger and slightly more medicinal scent than the lighter and more floral true lavender. However this higher camphor content does mean that lavandin, or Grosso, can be more effectual for uses such as an insect repellent (for moths, carpet beetles, mosquitoes, ants etc) and can be better for clearing a blocked nose or other symptoms of congestion. Also burning lavandin oil can leave a room feeling fresher quicker than true lavender oil.
Another difference between lavender and lavandin is the visual difference between the two plants. Lavandin tends to be a larger plant with longer, larger and more pointed flower spikes. It also often has a slightly greyer shade to its flowers. For the gardeners amongst you planting a combination of lavandin and lavender can be very attractive as the lavandin will heighten your border and will extend the flowering season and it tends to flower later than Lavandula angustifolia.
An important difference from a commercial point of view (especially in the eyes of many cosmetic companies and perfumeries) is that lavandin yields a much greater crop than true lavender. In the same space and with the same amount of tending, lavandin will produce about 3 times as much oil as English Lavender. For this reason you will often see lavandin listed on the ingredients of many less expensive lavender products. This is not to say that these products are necessarily inferior, just that they use a different essential oil then products using true lavender essential oil.
Here at the Jersey Lavender Farm we distil the essential oil from both Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandin Grosso. The Grosso oil is available to buy and we also sell both the pure essential oil of true lavender and use it make our range of fantastic lavender products.