Spanish Lavender vs. English Lavender: A Comprehensive Guide


Spanish Lavender vs. English Lavender: A Comprehensive Guide

Lavenders are a popular choice for gardeners and homeowners due to their beauty and fragrance. However, there are many different varieties of lavender, and two of the most common are Spanish lavender and English lavender. While these two varieties share some similarities, they also have some key differences that set them apart.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Spanish lavender and English lavender, and we will compare and contrast their appearance, fragrance, and growing requirements. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the right variety of lavender for your garden.

Now that we have a basic understanding of Spanish lavender and English lavender, let’s take a closer look at their specific characteristics.

Spanish Lavender vs. English Lavender

Here are 10 important points about the differences between Spanish lavender and English lavender:

  • Appearance: Spanish lavender has narrower leaves and shorter flower spikes than English lavender.
  • Fragrance: Spanish lavender has a sweeter, more camphoraceous fragrance than English lavender.
  • Growing requirements: Spanish lavender is more drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant than English lavender.
  • Hardiness: Spanish lavender is hardy to USDA zone 5, while English lavender is hardy to USDA zone 6.
  • Uses: Spanish lavender is often used in perfumes and cosmetics, while English lavender is often used in culinary applications.
  • Flower color: Spanish lavender typically has purple flowers, while English lavender can have purple, pink, or white flowers.
  • Bloom time: Spanish lavender blooms in the summer, while English lavender blooms in the spring and summer.
  • Size: Spanish lavender typically grows to be 1-2 feet tall, while English lavender can grow to be 2-3 feet tall.
  • Shape: Spanish lavender has a more upright growth habit than English lavender, which has a more spreading growth habit.
  • Sun requirements: Both Spanish lavender and English lavender prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

These are just a few of the key differences between Spanish lavender and English lavender. When choosing a variety of lavender for your garden, it is important to consider your climate, soil conditions, and personal preferences.

Appearance: Spanish lavender has narrower leaves and shorter flower spikes than English lavender.

One of the most noticeable differences between Spanish lavender and English lavender is their appearance. Spanish lavender has narrower leaves than English lavender, and its flower spikes are also shorter. This gives Spanish lavender a more compact and upright appearance than English lavender.

The leaves of Spanish lavender are typically 1-2 mm wide, while the leaves of English lavender are 2-3 mm wide. The flower spikes of Spanish lavender are typically 6-8 cm long, while the flower spikes of English lavender are 8-12 cm long.

The difference in appearance between Spanish lavender and English lavender is due to their different genetics. Spanish lavender is a variety of Lavandula angustifolia, while English lavender is a variety of Lavandula x intermedia. Lavandula angustifolia is a native of the Mediterranean region, while Lavandula x intermedia is a hybrid between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia.

The different genetics of Spanish lavender and English lavender also give them different fragrances. Spanish lavender has a sweeter, more camphoraceous fragrance than English lavender. This difference in fragrance is due to the different chemical composition of the essential oils of the two varieties.

Overall, the appearance of Spanish lavender and English lavender is quite different. Spanish lavender has narrower leaves and shorter flower spikes than English lavender, and it has a more compact and upright growth habit. English lavender has wider leaves and longer flower spikes, and it has a more spreading growth habit.

Fragrance: Spanish lavender has a sweeter, more camphoraceous fragrance than English lavender.

Another key difference between Spanish lavender and English lavender is their fragrance. Spanish lavender has a sweeter, more camphoraceous fragrance than English lavender. This difference in fragrance is due to the different chemical composition of the essential oils of the two varieties.

The essential oil of Spanish lavender is composed of a higher percentage of camphor than the essential oil of English lavender. Camphor is a terpene that has a sweet, slightly medicinal scent. It is also a natural insect repellent.

The essential oil of English lavender is composed of a higher percentage of linalool than the essential oil of Spanish lavender. Linalool is a terpene that has a floral, slightly citrusy scent. It is also a natural sedative and relaxant.

The different fragrances of Spanish lavender and English lavender make them suitable for different purposes. Spanish lavender is often used in perfumes and cosmetics, while English lavender is often used in culinary applications.

Overall, the fragrance of Spanish lavender is sweeter and more camphoraceous than the fragrance of English lavender. This difference in fragrance is due to the different chemical composition of the essential oils of the two varieties.

Growing requirements: Spanish lavender is more drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant than English lavender.

Spanish lavender is more drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant than English lavender. This is due to its Mediterranean origins. Spanish lavender is native to the dry, sunny climate of the Mediterranean region, while English lavender is native to the cooler, more humid climate of England.

Spanish lavender has a number of adaptations that help it to tolerate drought and heat. Its leaves are covered in a thick layer of hairs, which helps to reduce water loss. It also has a deep root system that helps it to access water from deep in the soil.

English lavender is less drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant than Spanish lavender. It requires more frequent watering and is more likely to suffer from heat stress. However, English lavender is more cold-hardy than Spanish lavender. It can tolerate temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit, while Spanish lavender can only tolerate temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overall, Spanish lavender is a better choice for gardeners in hot, dry climates. English lavender is a better choice for gardeners in cool, humid climates.

Here are some tips for growing Spanish lavender and English lavender:

  • Spanish lavender: Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Water deeply and infrequently, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Fertilize lightly in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.
  • English lavender: Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Water regularly, especially during hot, dry weather. Fertilize lightly in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.

Hardiness: Spanish lavender is hardy to USDA zone 5, while English lavender is hardy to USDA zone 6.

Hardiness refers to a plant’s ability to withstand cold temperatures. Spanish lavender is hardy to USDA zone 5, while English lavender is hardy to USDA zone 6. This means that Spanish lavender can tolerate temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit, while English lavender can only tolerate temperatures as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The difference in hardiness between Spanish lavender and English lavender is due to their different genetics. Spanish lavender is a variety of Lavandula angustifolia, which is native to the Mediterranean region. English lavender is a variety of Lavandula x intermedia, which is a hybrid between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. Lavandula latifolia is native to the Canary Islands, which has a milder climate than the Mediterranean region.

If you live in a cold climate, it is important to choose a variety of lavender that is hardy to your zone. Spanish lavender is a good choice for gardeners in zones 5-9. English lavender is a good choice for gardeners in zones 6-9.

Here are some tips for protecting lavender from cold temperatures:

  • Plant lavender in a sunny location with well-drained soil.
  • Mulch around lavender plants to help insulate the roots.
  • Cover lavender plants with a blanket or tarp during cold snaps.
  • Bring lavender plants indoors during the winter if you live in a cold climate.

Uses: Spanish lavender is often used in perfumes and cosmetics, while English lavender is often used in culinary applications.

Spanish lavender and English lavender have different fragrances, which makes them suitable for different uses. Spanish lavender has a sweeter, more camphoraceous fragrance, while English lavender has a more floral, slightly citrusy fragrance.

Spanish lavender is often used in perfumes and cosmetics. Its sweet, camphoraceous fragrance is popular in both men’s and women’s fragrances. Spanish lavender is also used in a variety of cosmetic products, such as soaps, lotions, and creams.

English lavender is often used in culinary applications. Its floral, slightly citrusy fragrance is a popular addition to both sweet and savory dishes. English lavender is used to flavor teas, desserts, and savory dishes such as lamb and chicken.

Here are some tips for using Spanish lavender and English lavender:

  • Spanish lavender: Add a few drops of Spanish lavender essential oil to your diffuser to create a relaxing atmosphere. Use Spanish lavender essential oil in your homemade perfumes and cosmetics. Add a few sprigs of Spanish lavender to your bathwater for a soothing soak.
  • English lavender: Add a few sprigs of English lavender to your teacup to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea. Use English lavender to flavor desserts such as cookies, cakes, and pies. Add a few sprigs of English lavender to your savory dishes to add a unique flavor.

Flower color: Spanish lavender typically has purple flowers, while English lavender can have purple, pink, or white flowers.

Another difference between Spanish lavender and English lavender is their flower color. Spanish lavender typically has purple flowers, while English lavender can have purple, pink, or white flowers.

  • Spanish lavender: Spanish lavender typically has purple flowers, but there are also some varieties with pink or white flowers.
  • English lavender: English lavender can have purple, pink, or white flowers. The most common color is purple, but pink and white varieties are also available.

The different flower colors of Spanish lavender and English lavender make them suitable for different landscaping purposes. Spanish lavender is a good choice for gardeners who want a traditional lavender look. English lavender is a good choice for gardeners who want a more unique look.

Bloom time: Spanish lavender blooms in the summer, while English lavender blooms in the spring and summer.

Spanish lavender and English lavender also have different bloom times. Spanish lavender blooms in the summer, while English lavender blooms in the spring and summer.

  • Spanish lavender: Spanish lavender typically blooms from June to August.
  • English lavender: English lavender typically blooms from May to July.

The different bloom times of Spanish lavender and English lavender make them suitable for different landscaping purposes. Spanish lavender is a good choice for gardeners who want a lavender that will bloom all summer long. English lavender is a good choice for gardeners who want a lavender that will bloom earlier in the season.

Size: Spanish lavender typically grows to be 1-2 feet tall, while English lavender can grow to be 2-3 feet tall.

Spanish lavender and English lavender also differ in size. Spanish lavender typically grows to be 1-2 feet tall, while English lavender can grow to be 2-3 feet tall.

The smaller size of Spanish lavender makes it a good choice for gardeners with limited space. It is also a good choice for gardeners who want to grow lavender in containers.

The larger size of English lavender makes it a good choice for gardeners who want to create a more dramatic effect in their landscape. It is also a good choice for gardeners who want to use lavender to create a hedge or screen.

Overall, the size of Spanish lavender and English lavender is an important consideration for gardeners when choosing a variety to plant.

Shape: Spanish lavender has a more upright growth habit than English lavender, which has a more spreading growth habit.

Another difference between Spanish lavender and English lavender is their shape. Spanish lavender has a more upright growth habit, while English lavender has a more spreading growth habit.

  • Spanish lavender: Spanish lavender has a more upright growth habit, with its stems growing vertically. This gives Spanish lavender a more compact and formal appearance.
  • English lavender: English lavender has a more spreading growth habit, with its stems growing outward from the center of the plant. This gives English lavender a more relaxed and informal appearance.

The different shapes of Spanish lavender and English lavender make them suitable for different landscaping purposes. Spanish lavender is a good choice for gardeners who want a lavender that will create a more formal look in their landscape. English lavender is a good choice for gardeners who want a lavender that will create a more relaxed and informal look.

Sun requirements: Both Spanish lavender and English lavender prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

Both Spanish lavender and English lavender prefer full sun, but they can tolerate partial shade. However, they will produce more flowers if they are grown in full sun.

  • Spanish lavender: Spanish lavender prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade. It will produce more flowers if it is grown in full sun.
  • English lavender: English lavender prefers full sun, but it can tolerate partial shade. It will produce more flowers if it is grown in full sun.

If you are planting lavender in partial shade, be sure to choose a variety that is known to be tolerant of shade. Some good choices for shade-tolerant lavender varieties include Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ and Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about Spanish lavender and English lavender:

Question 1: What is the difference between Spanish lavender and English lavender?
Answer: Spanish lavender has narrower leaves and shorter flower spikes than English lavender. It also has a sweeter, more camphoraceous fragrance. English lavender has wider leaves and longer flower spikes, and it has a more floral, slightly citrusy fragrance.

Question 2: Which type of lavender is better for growing in hot, dry climates?
Answer: Spanish lavender is more drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant than English lavender, so it is a better choice for growing in hot, dry climates.

Question 3: Which type of lavender is better for culinary uses?
Answer: English lavender is better for culinary uses because it has a more floral, slightly citrusy fragrance that is well-suited to both sweet and savory dishes.

Question 4: Which type of lavender is better for making essential oils?
Answer: Spanish lavender is better for making essential oils because it has a higher concentration of essential oils than English lavender.

Question 5: Can I grow Spanish lavender and English lavender together?
Answer: Yes, you can grow Spanish lavender and English lavender together. However, they will cross-pollinate, so if you want to keep the two varieties pure, you should plant them at least 10 feet apart.

Question 6: How do I care for lavender plants?
Answer: Lavender plants are relatively easy to care for. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Water them deeply and infrequently, and fertilize them lightly in the spring.

These are just a few of the frequently asked questions about Spanish lavender and English lavender. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact your local garden center or Cooperative Extension office.

Now that you know more about Spanish lavender and English lavender, here are a few tips for growing and using these beautiful and fragrant plants.

Tips

Here are a few tips for growing and using Spanish lavender and English lavender:

Tip 1: Choose the right variety for your needs.
If you live in a hot, dry climate, choose Spanish lavender. If you live in a cooler, more humid climate, choose English lavender. If you want to use lavender for culinary purposes, choose English lavender. If you want to use lavender for making essential oils, choose Spanish lavender.

Tip 2: Plant lavender in well-drained soil.
Lavender plants do not like to sit in wet soil, so it is important to plant them in well-drained soil. If your soil is not well-drained, you can amend it with compost or sand to improve drainage.

Tip 3: Water lavender deeply and infrequently.
Lavender plants do not need a lot of water. In fact, they prefer to be on the dry side. Water your lavender plants deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Tip 4: Fertilize lavender lightly in the spring.
Lavender plants do not need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually harm lavender plants. Fertilize your lavender plants lightly in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.

By following these tips, you can grow and enjoy beautiful and fragrant Spanish lavender and English lavender plants in your garden.

Now that you know how to grow and care for Spanish lavender and English lavender, it’s time to get started planting these beautiful and fragrant plants in your garden.

Conclusion

Spanish lavender and English lavender are two of the most popular varieties of lavender grown today. They are both beautiful and fragrant plants that can be used for a variety of purposes. However, there are some key differences between the two varieties that you should be aware of before choosing one for your garden.

Spanish lavender has narrower leaves and shorter flower spikes than English lavender. It also has a sweeter, more camphoraceous fragrance. English lavender has wider leaves and longer flower spikes, and it has a more floral, slightly citrusy fragrance. Spanish lavender is more drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant than English lavender, so it is a better choice for growing in hot, dry climates. English lavender is better for culinary uses because it has a more floral, slightly citrusy fragrance that is well-suited to both sweet and savory dishes.

No matter which variety of lavender you choose, you are sure to enjoy its beauty and fragrance for many years to come.


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