Plantidote of the Day 2011-12-12
I'm pretty sure this is French lavender, although there are sort of similar looking English and Spanish versions and several others, too. My taxonomy skills being what they are, maybe some more knowledgeable Correntian will come along and identify it properly. Meanwhile, we can be certain it's lavender of some kind or other, because it smells like it ;-)
Lavender hails from the Mediterranean, where it's often grown for use in perfumes and sachets. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb. Lavender is considered calming; you can inhale the essence, make a tea from it, or even drink lavender extract as a relaxant. You can also sew some flowers into a small cotton bag and put them in the clothes dryer, instead of using toxic scented dryer sheets.
Lavender is easy to grow in just about any zone, since there are hybrids for various climates. Here's an excellent site with plenty of information on growing all kinds of lavender, including a beautiful yellow variety!
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