During the time when lavender gatherers went out to cut wild lavender, they had already noticed that some plants were more developed than others which were given the names “grande lavande”, “grosse lavande” or “lavande bâtarde”.
These were the lavandins, issued from spontaneous hybridization of true lavender and aspic.
This hybridization is due to foraging insects, mainly bees, going from flower to flower transporting pollen from one species to another.
This phenomenon was verified in 1927 in the Chiris Company laboratories in Grasse, France.
Artificial pollenization of aspic by lavender pollen enabled production of six seeds which, when planted, produced two individuals identified as “lavendins.”
In nature, there are many different lavandins, some more closely akin to true lavender and others to aspic.
Intermediate features are possible, which often makes morphological identification difficult.
Note that it was in the mid-1920s that lavender quality was differentiated from that of lavandin which served to create some uncertainty between the two plants for several years.
• Common name : Lavandin.
• Botanical name : Lavandula angustifolia P. Miller X Lavandula Latifolia Medikus.
• Varieties : grosso, sumian, abrial and super.
• Characteristics :In a lavandin field, each plant is identical to its neighbor as it is propagated by cuttings, which in full flower gives the illusion of very regular blue waves.
Lavandin is cultivated between 200 and 700 meters but can grow as high as 1 000 meters in altitude.
• Production :About 1 000 tons of essential oils per year plus flowers and bouquets.
• Yield : 1 hectare of lavandin produces about 100 kg of essential oil.
• Usage : soaps, detergents, perfumes and ambiance fragrances.