Common Lavender
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Common Lavender
aturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Common Lavender, English lavender, True lavender
Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia subsp. angustifolia    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Lavandula vera, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula spica

Common Lavender is a strongly aromatic shrub growing to 1–2 m tall. Evergreen leaves are narrow linear up to 4 cm long, 2-3 mm broad, entire, with somewhat curled margin, whitish, stalkless, usually with dusters of younger leaves in axils. Flowers are lavender blue, borne in spikes 2-3.5 cm long, condensed or lowermost interrupted. Bracts are rhombic-obovate long-pointed, shorter than sepals. Sepal cup is cylindrical, 5 mm, 13-ribbed; teeth nearly equal. Flowers are 1-1.2 cm long, 13-veined, densely velvety outside, base hairless, throat and limb glandular hairy. Upper lip is straight, with lobes circular and slightly overlapping; lower lip is spreading. Common Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region and also cultivated there for the production of the fragrant lavender oil. In India it was introduced in Western Himalayas, and has naturalized. It can be seen growing wild at altitudes of 2200 m.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.

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