Plants Related to Lavender
- Native to the Mediterranean region, traditional lavender (Lavandula) itself is classified as English, Spanish or French. Grown primarily as a low perennial shrub, English lavender (L. augustafolia) bears names such as Munstead, which indicates bluish-purple flowers, or Hidcote Alba, which produces dark purple flowers. French lavender (L. dentata) produces toothed leaves and pinkish-purple flowers. Spanish lavender (L. stoechas) produces flowers that range in color from white through violet, with names like Spanish White or Atlas. Lavender can be used to make bath oil, steeped as tea, or placed in cloth bags to repel moths and other insects.
- The familiar spearmint (Mentha spicata) and peppermint (Mentha piperita) are related to lavender (Lavandula), along with lesser-known varieties such as horehound (Marrubium vulgare), ginger (Mentha x. gracilis) and pineapple mint (Mentha suaveolens variegata), the sweet mildly flavored applemint (Mentha suaveolens), chocolate mint (Mentha piperita cv.) and orange mint (Mentha piperita citrata). Other cooking herbs related to lavender include basil (Ocimum basilicum), sage (Salvia officinalis), rosemary (Rosemarinum officinalis), summer savory (Satureja hortensis) and marjoram (Origanum majorana).
- Most of the plants in the mint family related to lavender bear striking resemblances, including the flowers composed of two long and two short stamens, five united petals and five sepals, square stems and stalks, and seed capsules that contain four tiny nuts. Even coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), a plant grown for its striking foliage, produces flower stalks in late summer that greatly resemble those produced by the lavender plant. Hyssop (Agastache v.), deadnettle (Lamium purpureum), motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), catmint (Nepeta racemosa), self-heal (Prunella grandiflora), little betony (Stachys minor), and creeping thyme (Thymus) are all related to lavender (Lavandula).
Salvias and Skullcaps
- Among the largest plant families related to lavender is the Salvia, or sage, family. Aside from the culinary herb, this genus is comprised of roughly 30 varieties, including Algerian sage (Salvia algeriensis), Siberian sage (Salvia dumetorum), Indigo sage (Salvia forskaohlei), autumn sage (Salvia greggii, Japanese yellow sage (Salvia koyamae), meadow sage (Salvia nemerosa), hardy ornamental sage (Salvia regeliana), hummingbord sage (Salvia subrotunda), and lilac sage (Salvia verticillata). Skullcaps comprise another large plant family related to lavender, including Oriental skullcap (Scutellaria orientalis), heart-leaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata), and pink skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens).