California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Lavandula heterophylla - Sweet Lavender

Lavandula heterophylla is a small to medium sized shrub, growing to about 2 feet tall and a bit wider. The flower stalks grow about a foot taller than the foliage. Sweet Lavender, like many of the lavenders is a short lived woody shrub. I expect 3 or 4 years out of Lavandula heterophylla before the middle of the shrub starts to die back. In the meantime they are a wonderfully fragrant component of the herb or Mediterranean garden. Lavandula heterophylla is Winter hardy into the high teens. Lavandula's Grosso and Provence are hardier as well as the English lavenders, Hidcote and Munstead. Lavandula heterophylla requires reasonable drainage but is more tolerant of soil conditions than many of the other lavenders. Lavandula heterophylla attracts a variety of butterflies to the garden including the Gray Hairstreak, Fiery Skipper, Mournful Duskywing, Sara Orangetip, and the California Dogface Butterfly. I find that Lavandula heterophylla looks pretty scrappy unless the flower stalks are periodically removed. This is not as bad a chore as it might seem though if you plant a lot of them it can take a bit of time. The flowers dry nicely, and I often use them in dried arrangements. Sweet Lavender is not one of the culinary varieties, use Lavandula Fred Boutin, Lavandula Grosso, or Lavandula Provence for culinary purposes.

High resolution photos of Lavandula heterophylla are part of our garden image collection.

Lavandula heterophylla, Sweet Lavender