One of things I did not realise when I first started working at the lavender farm was that there are not 1, not 2, but actually 100’s of varieties of lavender. I had always thought that lavender was just lavender, but each variety of lavender has it’s own scent, properties and even colour! Who knew that lavender wasn’t just purple? Some varieties are actually pink or even white!
One variety of lavender is called Grosso lavender. It grows to be about 3-4 feet high and gets about 700 lavender wands. Grosso is a growing zone 5-6, so it grows up to about Toronto, then has a hard time growing after that. When cooking with Grosso lavender, think of it like rosemary; it’s great in meat marinades, potatoes, rice, etc. It is also is a great bug and moth repellent, so planting a few in your garden will help keep those pesky mosquito’s away!
Another variety of lavender we grow is called Angustifolia lavender. It grows to be about 1-2 feet high and gets about 200-300 lavender wands. Angustifolia is a growing zone 3-4, so this variety can be grown all the way up North. This one is a bit sweeter in taste, so great in teas, shortbread’s, biscotti’s, lemon loaves, etc. Finally, this lavender is super healthy for you, the pure essential oil can help sooth a headache or migraine, take the itch out a bug bite, soothe a burn and fade acne, scars and more!
We actually cross-bred our very own lavender, called Massuet Niagara lavender. A cross between Grosso and Angustifolia lavender, it tastes like Grosso, smells like Grosso, but grows like Angustofiolia! Massuet and Angustifolia are the two main lavenders we turn our product lines into, but we still grow a few others. My personal favourite is called Melissa lavender. I might be a little biased, because we do share a name, but it is a beautiful white variety and is actually great to pick a stalk and chew on to freshen your breath!