Lavandula spica Cav. Labiatae. Lavender.
Mediterranean regions. This plant appears to be the nardus stricta of ancient writers and was by them held in high esteem. There are three varieties, says Burr, in cultivation; it is used as a potherb. It was mentioned for our gardens by McMahon, 1806. Lavender yields oil-of-spike, used by painters on porcelain and by artists in the preparation of varnishes. It is cultivated in Surrey, England, to the extent of 300 acres. It is also grown in Lincolnshire and in Hertfordshire, where, in 1871, about 50 acres were cropped. Mawe, 1778, named four types: the narrow-leaved with blue flowers, the narrow-leaved with white flowers, the broad-leaved and the dwarf.
Lavandula vera DC. Lavender.
Mediterranean region. This species was used by the Romans to mix with salads and is occasionally cultivated in our gardens, as the seed appears in our seedsmen's catalogs. There is no satisfactory identification of lavender in the writings of the ancients, although it seems to have been well known to the botanists of the sixteenth century. Its use as a perfume was indicated as early as the fourteenth century and as a medicine even in the twelfth century. Its seed was in English seedsmen's lists of 1726 for garden culture.