Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Superior'
Common Name: English lavender
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to October
Bloom Description: Deep purple-blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained, alkaline soil in full sun. English lavender can be difficult to grow in the St. Louis area, primarily because of winter stresses and high summer humidity. Well-drained soils are required, particularly in winter. Root rot commonly attacks plants grown in poorly drained soils. Prefers a light, sandy soil with somewhat low fertility. Remove faded flowers to promote continued bloom. Prune to shape in spring after new leaves appear. Prune back to 8” in spring every 3 years to control plant size and to promote robust, new growth. High summer humidity in the St. Louis area is not appreciated. To combat high humidity, consider using rock instead of organic mulch. English lavender has slightly better winter hardiness than lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) for the St. Louis area, but still may appreciate a sheltered location and winter protection.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Genus name comes from the Latin word lavo meaning I wash in reference to a former use of the plant as an aromatic wash.

Specific epithet means having narrow leaves.

‘Hidcote Superior’ is a compact English lavender cultivar that typically grows to 13-16” tall and to 18" wide on square stems clad with narrow, aromatic, gray-green leaves (to 2 1/2" long). Leaves remain evergreen in warm winter climates. This is a seed grown strain introduced by Jelitto Perennial Seeds in Germany. It is generally considered to be an improved version of L. angustifolia 'Hidcote' (better flowers on a more uniform and compact plant). Deep purple-blue flowers in terminal spikes bloom in late spring/early summer with continued (sometimes intermittent) bloom often occurring throughout summer.

Problems

Susceptible to leaf spot and root rot. Plants may not survive in winter if soils are not well-drained and/or if temperatures dip below zero degrees without protective snow cover.

Garden Uses

This is a versatile garden perennial that should be considered for a wide variety of uses and not just relegated to a corner of the herb garden. The flowers and green-gray leaves provide mid-summer color and contrast to the perennial border front, rock garden, herb garden or scented garden. Can be particularly effective when massed. Also effective as an edger or low hedge in some areas. Fragrant flowers may be dried and used in sachets and potpourris.