All about lavender > Cultivation
Lavender is a small robust bushy shrub that grows primarily in chalky soil. From the Lamiaceae family, this plant, originating in the Mediterranean basin, can reach 60 cm in height and loves air, space, light and heat.
This plant flourishes in its natural biotope at altitudes between 1,500 and 2,000 m on the sunny mountainsides of the Alps in Upper Provence. The quality of lavender is said to increase with altitude. Growing fine lavender at lower altitudes, around 800 to 1,000 m, makes the plant more vulnerable to pests. Outside of its original natural Mediterranean habitat, lavender has also been grown for some years in Bulgaria, Ukraine and even Canada, particularly in Quebec's Eastern Townships.
Its evergreen leaves, long, sharp and lanceolate, are ash green in color and very aromatic.
The flowers, blue or violet in color, are grouped on a terminal spike and give lavender its characteristic color and pleasant fragrance.
They are harvested before flowering has finished, in July or August, depending on the growing location.
Photo of lavender flowers: Maison Lavande, from an article for Passeport Monde.
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