Herb: Spike Lavender
Latin name: Lavandula latifolia
Synonyms: Lavandula spica, Lavandula spica latifolia
Medicinal use of Spike Lavender:Spike lavender has similar medicinal properties to common lavender (L. angustifolia). It yields more essential oil than that species but is of inferior quality. The flowering stems, and the essential oil obtained from them, is abortifacient, antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative and emmenagogue. They can be used in all the ways that common lavender is used, externally to treat wounds, burns, insect stings etc and internally to treat digestive disorders. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is "Immune system".
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Arid hillsides, especially on limestone.
Edible parts of Spike Lavender:Leaves - raw. Used as a condiment in salads. Very aromatic, they cannot be eaten in quantity. An essential oil from the flowers is used as a food flavouring.
Other uses of the herb:An essential oil is obtained from the flowers - used in soap making, perfumery, food flavouring, veterinary medicines, porcelain painting etc. This species yields up to three times the quantity of essential oil than is obtained from L. angustifolia, but the quality is inferior to that species. When growing the plant for its essential oil content, it is best to harvest the flowering stems as soon as the flowers have faded. The aromatic leaves and flowers are used as an insect repellent in the linen cupboard etc. They are also used in pot-pourri and are said to repel mice. The flowering stems, once the flowers have been removed for use in pot-pourri etc, can be tied in small bundles and burnt as incense sticks.
Propagation of Spike Lavender:Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. It usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Usually very east, a high percentage will root within a few weeks. Grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings 7cm with a heel succeed at almost any time of the year. Layering.
Cultivation of the herb:Arid hillsides, especially on limestone.
Known hazards of Lavandula latifolia:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.