is referred to as the “good witches” herb, as it was useful in
averting the “evil eye”. It is claimed to make ‘the evil
spirits quake at the scent of it’.
Angustifolia (commonly called English Lavender) is native to the
south of France, it grows on the foothills from 500 to 1000mtrs.
It enjoys hot summers and cold winters, (in France the lavender is
covered with snow during the winter) the plants will stand some
frost, however, it has been found they do not flower well when grown
in humid climates. In France lavender grows in stony, depleted
soils with a ph of 6-7, the best oil is produced in poor soil.
- Propagation by
seed is slow (six months to transplant size) and germination rates
are low and sporadic. In addition, because most lavender varieties
are clones, vegetative propagation (cuttings, layerings, and
division of roots) is highly recommended to retain desirable traits.
Propagation by seed creates overlapping traits and further variation
within cultivars. Plants grown from seed are variable in growth
habit, color, and essential oil composition and are unsuitable for
commercial harvesting. If seeds are to be used they should be
planted in late spring or early summer. Plants should be thinned to
24-36 inches apart with rows 30 to 36 inches apart.
- Plants are
harvested from the second through the fifth year at which time some
growers replant.Lavender is harvested mechanically in foreign
countries using specially designed machinery for essential oil
purposes although it is harvested by hand for cut flower production.
was widely used as a natural antiseptic and deodorizer. Its pleasant
aroma was used to mask body odor, therefore, women would tie small
bunches of it to their under garments. It was very popular with
ladies during the Victorian era to hold “tussie-mussies” under
their noses as they walk down the streets. It helped to keep away
the awful orders of open sewage and animal waste so common to the
production of lavender oil in Australia has been centred at
Bridestowe Estate near Lilydale in north-eastern Tasmania. The
plantings are the resultant selection of L. angustifolia over many
years by the Denny family. Bronson and Jacobs Pty Ltd, an Australian
company trading in essential oils, aromatic extracts and isolates,
now own this production area. Production is in the order of 1.2
tonne per annum. This enterprise currently generates approximately
60% of its revenue from tourism.
small production areas have been planted with increasing frequency
over the last 10 years, predominantly in Victoria and southern New
South Wales but also in Western Australia and South Australia.
Virtually all of the smaller enterprises are targeted at the tourism
and aromatherapy supply market. These production areas are
predominantly in the size range of 0.25 to 1 ha. Only some four to
five production units exceed the 1.5 ha scale of planting and the
volume of oil produced is predominantly in the 5 to 10 kg per annum
range. Consequently the total level of oil produced by all growers
aside from Bridestowe Estate would only be approximately 0.5 tonne.
is a growing demand for all of the lavender range of oil types - L.
allardii and lavandin oils are sought after by the aromatherapy
market as is L.angustifolia oil for their therapeutic applications.
Currently oil produced for the therapeutic market must conform to
the BP standard as products are mainly marketed into the
aromatherapy segment. This presents difficulties for producers and
distributors as not all oils have a BP standard eg: L. Allardii.
Also there is an increasing demand for the hydrosols derived from
all lavender varieties.
lavender oil(s) are increasing in demand at approximately 35% per
annum at present compared to a general increase of 5% per annum for
conventionally produced oils. The price received for organic
lavender oil(s) is generally twice that of conventionally produced
oils when sold in small lots.
who want the information on Growth And Cultivation, Distillation
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