Cover image for Lavender : the grower's guide
Lavender : the grower's guide
McNaughton, Virginia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Portland, Or. : Timber Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 180 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


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SB317.L37 M36 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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With their heady perfume and stunning visual appeal, lavenders have been prized by gardeners since ancient times. Lavender is a truly comprehensive study that enables the reader to research and identify more than 200 lavender species and varieties. With chapters on cultivation, propagation, pests and diseases, and botanical history, this book is as practical as it is authoritative.

More than 200 photos document recent advances in color variation that have resulted from intense breeding; plants now available range from deep purple and lilac to white, cream, pink, and red-violet. With so many hardy and dependable plants to choose from, no lavender enthusiast will want to be without this indispensable book.

Author Notes

Virginia McNaughton, BSc, MApplSc (Hons), formerly worked as Botanical Officer, Christchurch Botanic Gardens, New Zealand. With her husband Dennis Matthews, she manages Lavender Downs, a specialist lavender and consulting business, while continuing her research into the genus Lavandula

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Lavenders are medicinal, cultivated herbs of long standing--since medieval times and, indeed, long before. McNaughton, who gardens in New Zealand, has prepared this contribution as an horticultural monograph in the very best sense of that term. Some 22 pages are devoted to cultivation, propagation, and pests and diseases; 19 pages to descriptions of the variations in plant parts (hairs, leaf size and shape, etc.) throughout the genus; 24 pages to a botanical description of the cultivated species (there are "over 30" species in total, not all cultivated) and the general classification of the species within the genus. This material is followed by 95 pages of horticultural descriptions of the species, varieties, and cultivars. It is interesting that the bibliography lists 17 books published since 1989 dealing with primarily horticultural aspects of lavender's genus. General readers; professionals. G. P. DeWolf Jr.; emeritus, Massachusetts Bay Community College



Dioscorides, a Greek physician, described lavender as having slender twigs and hair similar to thyme, only longer. The Greeks apparently used mainly L. stoechas medicinally, making wines and vinegars from the spikes and foliage. The Romans used it to scent their baths and relieve their aching limbs. It may be that the Romans distinguished between L. stoechas and L. vera , using the first for wine-making and the second for their exotic perfumes. However this is not clear. It is generally assumed that the Romans introduced lavender to England but it may well have been introduced earlier. No records exist to confirm this. During the Dark Ages, monks recorded their herbal knowledge and lavender thrived in their monastery gardens. Abbes Hildegarde (1098 -- 1180), a learned female botanist, made a study of lavender and wrote of her findings. Subsequently herbalists such as Turner and Gerard (16th century) attributed lavender with an ability to heal anything from colds and headaches to limb paralysis and neurosis, as well as with use as both a tonic and a laxative. Lavendula stoechas was referred to as 'Sticadore' and was one of the main ingredients of 'Four Thieves vinegar' used to combat the plague during the Middle Ages. The spikes of L. stoechas were still being used medicinally until the middle of the eighteenth century. Even today in France and Spain, fresh spikes of L. stoechas and L. dentata are suspended in water in closed bottles placed in the sun, for use as a haemostatic or for cleansing wounds. Excerpted from Lavender: The Grower's Guide by Virginia McNaughton All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
Introductionp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xi
General Cultivationp. 1
Propagationp. 13
Pests and Diseasesp. 17
The Botany of Lavenderp. 23
History, Classification and Lavender Speciesp. 43
Cultivars of Lavandula angustifoliap. 67
Cultivars of Lavandula x intermediap. 107
Cultivars of Lavandula lanata x Lavandula angustifoliap. 125
Cultivars of Lavandula stoechasp. 131
Other Lavendersp. 159
Lavender Growing around the Worldp. 163
Australiap. 163
Francep. 165
Japanp. 166
New Zealandp. 168
United Kingdomp. 169
United States of Americap. 170
The Lavender Bagp. 172
Appendix 1 Section Lavandula cultivars, by general corolla colour or other distinctive featuresp. 173
Appendix 2 Lavender suitable for container growingp. 174
Appendix 3 Other cultivars not mentioned elsewhere in this bookp. 174
Glossaryp. 175
Photography Creditsp. 176
Bibliographyp. 176
Indexp. 177