Lavender Flowers. Lavandula vera. Lavender.
Related entries: Oil of Lavender
Lavender Flowers. Lavandula. U. S. 1880. Lavandula vera DC. (L. officinalis Chaix, L. spica L.) Lavender. Flores Lavandulae, P. G. Lavande, Fleurs de Lavande, Fr. Lavandelblumen, Lavandelblüthen, G. Lavendola, It, Espliego, Alhucema, Sp.—Lavender is a small labiate shrub. The plant is a native of Southern Europe, and covers vast tracts of dry and barren land in Spain, Italy, and the south of France. In England and America it is very largely cultivated. For method of culture and detailed descriptions of the various varieties that have been educed, see B. M. S. J., Aug., 1873, 165. The cultivation of lavender has become an important industry and attempts are being made to cultivate the finer qualities of lavender in the United States.
For details of lavender culture, see U. S. D., 19th ed., p. 1546.
Lavender flowers have a strong fragrant odor, and an aromatic, warm, bitterish taste. They retain their fragrance long after drying. Alcohol extracts their virtues, and a volatile oil upon which their odor depends rises with that liquid in distillation. Hager obtained from a pound of the fresh flowers from half a drachm to two drachms of the oil. The flowers are frequently sold for packing away with clothing as a moth preventive. Lavender is an aromatic stimulant and tonic, but is seldom given in its crude state. The products obtained by its distillation are much used in perfumery, and the volatile oil is official. (See Oleum Lavandulae.)