One of the few plants to be equally important in landscaping, cooking, herbal medicine, and in the cosmetic industry, lavender is a common choice for gardens and container planting.

How Many Different Lavender Varieties are There

There are 4-5 primary types of lavender, which are then mixed and crossed together to create at least 40-50 other varieties and cultivars. Most of the varieties come from either the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) or the French/Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas). There are many other cultivars as well, created by mixing different species. These are referred to as Lavandula x intermedia or lavandins. Following is a list of the main types of lavender plants.

Basic Growing Conditions for All Lavender Plant Types

Pretty easy to grow and take care of, all varieties and cultivars are quite hardy, draught- and heat tolerant. Being from the Mediterranean regions, they all need poor to medium soil with excellent drainage along with full sunlight. They can grow in acidic to alkaline soil including sandy and chalky soils, but do not do well in fertile soils, so do not use fertilizers and compost matter to improve the soil quality before planting.

List of the Primary Types of Lavender

1. English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

English Lavender

Despite its name, the English lavender (common or true lavender) originated in the Mediterranean area. The flower clusters grow in long upright stems, around the middle or later part of summer. They can be lavender, or combinations of white-pink, violet-blue, and purple-blue. Thick gray-green (summer) to silver-green (winter) foliage. Often considered the best smelling type of lavender, with all its cultivars being famous for their sweet fragrance as well.

Height: Up to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Walkway and garden hedges; potpourri and extraction of essential oil

2. French Lavender or Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)

Spanish Lavender

More suitable for hot climates, it is known as Spanish lavender in the US and as French lavender in UK. The violet to purple to pink flower-heads grow some distinct bracts that resemble rabbit ears. The aromatic silvery-green foliage is similar to the English variety.

Height: Around 1.5 to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-9

Utility: Though non-fragrant, the pretty flowers and bushy foliage makes it suitable for flowerbeds

3. French Lavender (Lavandula dentata)

French Lavender

Also known as fringed lavender, this drought-tolerant, deer-resistant species grows almost throughout the year, and needs little maintenance. The flowers are lighter and less fragrant than the English variety, but they do have their own beauty and a mild yet pleasant scent. The gray-green narrow leaves have a rich lavender-rosemary aroma.

Height: 1 to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-11

Utility: Landscaping, dry flower production (for decoration and craft)

4. Portuguese Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)

Portuguese Lavender

Native to the western parts of the Mediterranean, this species grows long, pale lilac flower spikes with a distinctive scent that is stronger and more pungent than the English lavender. The evergreen plants flower between mid-late spring and late summer.

Height: 1 to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-8

Utility: Summer garden borders and hedges; cut and dried flowers

5. Egyptian Lavender (Lavandula multifida)

Egyptian Lavender

Native to the western regions of the Mediterranean, these perennial plants grow pale lilac flowers on a long stalk, between late spring and late summer. The flowers have a stronger pungent aroma compared to most other lavenders.

Height: Between 1-3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-8

Utility: Landscaping

 

Different Types of English Lavender Plant (Lavandula angustifolia)

1. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’

Hidcote Lavender

One of the dwarf varieties of English lavender, it grows dark purple-blue flowers with strong fragrance. Drought-tolerant and hardy to hot climates, these plants are great for attracting butterflies and bees, while they are also deer and rabbit resistance. Blooms once some time from late spring to late summer.

Height: Around 1.5-2 feet

Width: 1.5-2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Walkways and garden borders where its fresh scent can be appreciated; excellent choice for container plant

2. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’

Munstead Lavender

Tolerant to hot and humid conditions, the perennial variety has low maintenance needs. Blooming twice in a year, during later spring to mid- to late summer, the sweetly fragrant flowers are of a cool bluish lavender shade, which contrast nicely with the plant’s gray-green foliage.

Height: 1 to 1.5 feet

Width: 1 to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Borders and flowerbeds where its feathery flower-heads can sway in breeze; container plant; cut/dry flower

3. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Loddon Blue’

Loddon Blue Lavender

A fragrant variety with characteristic purple-blue flowers rising above the gray-green foliage, with the blooming season being from late spring to summer.

Height: around 1.5 to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Utility: Short hedges in smaller gardens

4. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Lavenite Petite’

Lavenite Petite Lavender

The bushy plants grow 6-7 inches long flower flusters, between mid- and late-spring, having a pleasant long-lasting fragrance. Trimming the plants in summer encourages lush bushier foliage.

Height: Up to 2 to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Borders around walkways and garden walls, flowerbeds, and mass planting

5. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Nana Alba’

Nana Alba Lavender

This is a white lavender variety, with the sweet fragrant flowers growing in short stiff spines over the short bushy foliage comprising of narrow grayish leaves. One of the most popular miniature types, they bloom around midsummer.

Height: Around 1 foot

Width: About 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Utility: Short borders, and flowerbeds

6. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Betty’s Blue’

Betty's Blue Lavender

Another variety with a delicate sweet smell, these plants are also rather hardy. Blooms once around the middle of summer. The flowers are of a stunning purple color, growing on stiff straight stems.

Height: Approximately 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Small plants suitable for small gardens, both for flowerbeds and borders; dry flower

7. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Royal Purple’

Royal Purple Lavender

The strongly fragrant stunning dark purple flower spikes are spaced out a little, giving it a fluid flowing appearance, especially in wind. The flower spikes alone are about 5-10 inches long, going well when planted with pink or yellow flowers. The plants flower between spring and summer.

Height: Up to 2 to 3 feet

Width: Around 3 to 5 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-11

Utility: Ideal for drying as it retains its color and fragrance for years; Being one of the tallest varieties, it is ideal for hedges in larger gardens

8. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Twickel Purple’

Twickel Purple Lavender

Named after the Twickel Castle (Netherlands) where the plants were first cultivated, this is a large robust variety growing bright bluish violet flowers on 7-8 inch long stems. Blooming in summer, the flowers have a wonderful strong fragrance; the bushy plants tend to get unruly without proper pruning.

Height: Up to 2 to 2.5 feet

Width: Around 3 to 5 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Utility: Hedges and borders in medium gardens

9. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Royal Velvet’

Royal Velvet Lavender

A rather showy dwarf variety with dark purple to navy blue wonderfully fragrant flowers that grow 3-4 inches long spikes. It has an extended blooming season between spring and summer, lasting around 4 weeks.

Height: Around 1 to 1.5 feet

Width: 1 foot

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-10

Utility: Excellent for drying as, like ‘royal purple’, it is good at holding its color and scent

10. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Miss Katherine’

Miss Katherine Lavender

Producing rather unique pink flowers with a strong scent, this variety blooms around late spring to early summer. One of the darkest pink varieties, the evergreen plant is quite hardy to hot dry conditions.

Height: Between 1-2 feet

Width: Around 2-3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Mass planting; perennial hedges, and borders in medium gardens

11. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Folgate’

Folgate Lavender

Blooming once or twice in middle to late spring, the purple flower heads rise above the evergreen foliage. The plants are pretty hardy, needing full sun, also able to tolerate cold, coming back every year once winter is over.

Height: Between 1.5 to 2 feet

Width: Around 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Mass planting, herb gardens, hedge in smaller gardens; excellent for essential oil

12. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Rosea’

Rosea Lavender

A rose-pink variety of lavender with frothy flower spikes, it is often planted in gardens and flowerbeds along with roses and peonies. The plants are quite hardy with an average growth rate, flowering around late spring to summer.

Height: Between 2 to 3 feet

Width: Around 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Utility: Low hedges, and walkways, where it’s sweet fragrant can be enjoyed

13. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Arctic Snow’

Arctic Snow Lavender

As suggested by the name, it produces dense snow white fragrant flower spikes that create an attractive contrast with the silver-green foliage. Flowering season starts late in summer.

Height: Around 1.5 to 2 feet

Width: 1.5 to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7-10

Utility: Ideal for short informal walkway borders or hedges as well as for containers

14. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Little Lottie’

Little Lottie Lavender

Another dwarf variety with purplish pink inflorescence, it is ideal for small gardens, especially since it has little to no tendency to overpower other plants. Stiff flower spikes bloom between later spring and early summer.

Height: Between 1.5 to 2 feet

Width: Around 2-3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Utility: Perennial borders and small herb gardens; container planting

15. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Melissa Lilac’

Melissa Lilac Lavender

The fragrant lilac fluffy flower spikes create a stunning view when contrasted with the silver-/gray-green leaves. Leaves and flowers produce a nice aroma when brushed against. Does well with a pruning around the end of spring, and blooms in summer.

Height: Around 1.5 to 2 feet

Width: About 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Utility: Mass planting and garden borders

16. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Blue Mountain White’

Blue Mountain White Lavender

Another fragrant white lavender variety, it flowers from late spring to early fall, requiring little care besides full sunlight conditions. The bronze foliage comes in nice contrast with the white flower growing on long upright stems.

Height: About 1.5 to 2 feet

Width: 2 to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-11

Utility: For flowerbeds, borders; flower stalks suitable for cutting and drying

17. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Thumbelina Leigh’

Thumbelina Leigh Lavender

One of the most compact varieties, ‘Thumbelina Leigh’ grows dark bluish-lavender plump flower spikes with a strong and pleasant scent. Flowers appear in summer, with the plant blooming three times a year.

Height: Up to 1 foot

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-10

Utility: Evergreen garden borders and rock gardens; excellent as container plant

18. Lavandula angustifolia ‘Beechwood Blue’

Beechwood Blue Lavender

Produces sweetly fragrant violet-blue flower spikes around early or mid-summer, this variety needs a yearly pruning, proper air circulation and full sun to perform at its best.

Height: 1.5 to 2 feet

Width: 2 to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-11

Utility: cut and dry flowers; ground covers, hedges in large gardens

Varieties of French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)

1. Lavandula stoechas ‘Ballerina’

Ballerina Lavender

A frost tolerant variety originally from New Zealand, the evergreen shrub grows upright with aromatic silvery-green foliage, producing unique purple-pink flowers that develop as white bracts, changing color as they mature. Has a rather long blooming season from late spring continuing through summer.

Height: 1.5 to 3 feet

Width: 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-10

Utility: Colorful borders, flowerbeds, and hedges

2. Lavandula stoechas ‘Regal Splendour’

Regal Splendour Lavender

The deep purple flower stalks are considered to be the darkest variety by many gardeners, while the flags are of a soothing purple-violet shade; the dark green foliage is highly aromatic. The long flower stalks bloom in late spring to late summer, and rise above the bushy semi-evergreen foliage.

Height: 2 to 2.5 feet

Width: 1 to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7-9

Utility: Borders, and hedges (creates a nice free-flowing look in the summer breeze)

3. Lavandula stoechas ‘Kew Red’

Kew Red Lavender

A compact perennial from Europe and northwestern Africa, its flowers are carmine in color with white or pinkish ears that contrast nicely with the light green foliage. The blooming time is from late spring, extending to late summer or early fall.

Height: Between 1 to 1.5 feet

Width: 1 foot

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7-9

Utility: Mass planting, flowerbeds and container planting

4. Lavandula stoechas ‘Anouk’

Anouk Lavender

Another dwarf variety, with stunning purple-lilac flowers, and lush silvery green foliage. The blooming season is early in the spring, continuing to mid-spring or early summer.

Height: Up to 1 foot

Width: Between 1 to 1.5 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 10

Utility: Short borders, flowerbeds, and mass planting

5. Lavandula stoechas ‘Portuguese Giant’

Portuguese Giant Lavender

A quite robust variety of French lavender from Portugal, it has been introduced to the gardening world quite recently. The flowers bloom in late spring, with the blooming season continuing throughout summer, and into fall. True to the name, the flower stalks grow around a foot long.

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Width: 1.5 to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7-10

Utility: Summer garden hedges, mass planting, in butterfly gardens

6. Lavandula stoechas ‘Fathead’

Fathead Lavender

Sometimes considered less hardy than some other varieties, the fathead lavender grows dense, plump deep violet flower spikes from late spring to late summer. The light purple or mauve flags create a nice contrast. The dark grayish green foliage is highly aromatic.

Height: Up to 2 feet

Width: 1.5 to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-9

Utility: Mass planting, evergreen garden borders and hedges

Other Cultivars and Crosses between Species

1. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Hidcote Giant’

Hidcote Giant Lavender

This is an award winning variety with dense plump bright purple flowers with a strong sweet fragrance, growing on long stems. The showy evergreen plants bloom in mid to late summer.

Height: 2.5 to 3 feet

Width: 3 to 3.5 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Utility: In large herb gardens, mass planting, garden hedges; cut flower arrangements

2. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Impress Purple’

Impress Purple Lavender

The size and foliage somewhat resembles the ‘grosso’ variety, but the flowers are a dark purple, growing on flatter spikes. The evergreen shrub flowers in summer, with the tall, upright gray-green foliage adding to its charm.

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Width: 3 to 3.5 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Tall aromatic hedges; fresh cut flowers and dry flower arrangements

3. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Seal’

Seal Lavender

Counted among the largest lavender types, ‘seal’ is also one of the most striking varieties with bright purple flowers contrasting with the dark green foliage. The flower stalks alone can grow up to a foot, with the blooming season being in summer. Suitable to be grown only in large gardens as it tends to take over.

Height: Up to 4 feet

Width: 2 to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Utility: Fresh cut or dried flowers (retains its scent for about 2 years); potpourri; hedges and borders

4. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Edelweiss’

Edelweiss Lavender

As evident from the name, it grows white flower spikes, which look stunning when planted with other darker lavender cultivars. The flower buds look pinkish before the flowers appear. Extended, looming season starts in spring, continuing through summer to fall.

Height: Up to 2 feet

Width: About 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-11

Utility: Ground cover, hedges; fragrant fresh and dried flower arrangements and crafts

5. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’

Grosso Lavender

It is often considered to be the most cultivated lavender plant, widely used in the perfume and cosmetics industry. Long dark blue flower spikes appear around the early or middle part of summer.

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Width: up to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-10

Utility: Essential oil production

6. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grappenhall’

Grappenhall Lavender

Counted among the largest lavender plants, it produces highly fragrant light blue flowers, blooming from mid-summer to early fall.

Height: Over 3 feet

Width: Up to 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-11

Utility: mass planting, flowerbeds, container planting; dry cut flower

7. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Provence’

Provence Lavender

Commercially grown mainly in Provence, France, this variety grows long purple-mauve flower stalks having an intoxicating scent. The plants are extremely tolerant to heat and humidity, blooming in summer.

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Width: Over 2 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9

Utility: Mass planting, garden borders, hedges; in dry flower arrangements, wreaths and lavender wands

8. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Super’

Super Lavender

Light blue to purple beautifully fragrant flowers are spaced away from each other, with individual flowers being rather large. The flower stalks are 3-5 inches long, blooming in spring to summer. It is often regarded as one of the best quality oil producer, though the amount of oil extracted is less than other varieties.

Height: Over 3 feet

Width: around 2.5 to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 and above

Utility: Tall hedges; fresh cut and dried flowers; grade 2 oil production

9. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’

Phenomenal Lavender

One of the newer introductions, this variety is fast growing in popularity for its exceptional draught-, heat-, humidity-, and even cold-tolerance, making it quite easy to take care of. The bright bluish purple long flower stalks bloom in spring and summer

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Width: 2 to 2.5 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Utility: Borders, hedges; dry flowers; potpourri

10. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Fred Boutin’

Fred Boutin Lavender

It is an evergreen French lavender hybrid with light blue to purple flowers and stunning silver-green foliage that retains its color through winter. Blooming season is early to late summer, with the flowers retaining their scent for years after drying.

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Width: 2.5 to 3.5 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-9

Utility: fresh cut and dried flowers, homemade potpourri

Best Types of Culinary of Lavender

Most of the above lavenders can be used as herbs, but the best-smelling ones are more suitable to be used in cooking. The classic English lavender is the most popular type of culinary lavender. Other varieties often used in cooking include ‘Munstead’, ‘Hidcote’, ‘Grosso’ and ‘Provence’. These might be the best lavender types to grow at home, with their low maintenance needs. The pretty flowers also add color to your indoor or outdoor garden.

The flowers are often the characteristic factor of these plants, helping to identify the different kinds of lavenders. If you have a lavender plant and are not sure exactly which one it is, send us a picture so we can help.