Julie Feinstein is a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History. She lives in New York City and writes about urban wildlife on her blog, Urban Wildlife Guide. She has recently published a fantastic book (which I’ll be reviewing soon) titled Field Guide to Urban Wildlife. You may remember her from her guest post about [...]
There are few other plants so closely associated with scent than Lavender. The purple flowers and gray/green foliage is unmistakable and found in gardens around the world. The various forms can grow from ground high up to waist high and it is used and appreciated by both humans and wildlife.
Lavandula (more commonly known as Lavender) is in the mint family and the genus contains a complicated taxonomy with 39 species and countless cultivars. Lavendula angustifolia is the most widely cultivated species. It was historically found in the Old World growing from India throughout the Mediterranean region of Africa and southern Europe. At times it escapes and grows in the wild where it is usually not a problem species with the exception of Australia where Lavandula stoechas has been declared a noxious weed.
It is a wildly popular garden plant and there is even a festival dedicated to the plant in Washington home to dozens of lavender farms throughout the state. There is book after book dedicated to growing, cooking and using lavender. Visit any craft fair, garden show or farmers market and you’re likely to find booths dedicated to selling all manner of lavender products.