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Lavender (Lavandula).—Universally known and valued for its perfume. Although the plant is generally propagated from cuttings, it can easily be grown from seed sown in April or May. The plants attain a height of one or two feet, and the stems should not be cut until the flowers are expanded.

Lavender can be grown from seed. Sow the seeds when the soil is warm and danger of frost is over. Lavender is a many-branched, somewhat woody, perennial plant growing 1 ˝ to 3 feet tall. The narrow leaves are about 2 inches long and have a pleasing gray-green color. The small lavender flowers are borne on long-stemmed, slender spikes. Cuttings can be grown in boxes of sand in summer ready for planting out next spring. Small shrub which grows up to 90cm high. Very

fragrant blue, pink or white flowers grow up the flower stems in spikes.

Lavender grows best in rocky, dry, sunny places with an abundant amount of lime in the soil. It can be propagated by seed or cuttings. If winters are severe, the plant needs protected.

Cut whole flower spikes when the first flowers begin to open, and dry.

Lavender is one of the most famous of all herbs for the fragrance of its dried flowers and the oil distilled from them. It is used most often in sachets and perfumes.

Used in rubbing oils for sore joints. An infusion can be used as a cold compress for headaches. Added to many cosmetics lavender has always been valued for its perfume. Lavender bags are used for linen and Lavender is again being used in cooking, for example in ice cream and biscuits.

All types of lavender are used to scent soaps, creams, detergents, and perfumes. Lavender and French Lavender are preferred for most perfumes, but are often mixed with the less expensive hybrids. Spike is used for soaps, detergents, and cheaper perfumes. Recent research has indicated that coating dentures with wax containing a mixture of lavender, rose and sage produces anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects.

Essential oil is extracted from the fresh flowers of the lavender plant and used for medicinal purposes.

"Adapted from publication NE-208, produced by the Cooperative Extension Services of the Northeast States."

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