Lavender is well known as an aromatic plant that is used in perfumes and oils. Lavender is also used as an herb by culinary specialists to add scent and flavor to dishes. The plant belongs to the Lavandula genus. The word “lavender” is also used to refer to the color of the flowers that grow on the lavender plant, a pale purple that is lighter than lilac.
Lavender plants are often grouped by the region in which they grow. English lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) is the most heavily scented variety of the plant. Lavender originates in the Mediterranean, though it is grown around the world. The plant needs full sunlight and well-drained soil to grow. Lavender is a hardy plant that’s easy to grow in many different climates.
The Romans named lavender flowers, though the plant appeared in many ancient civilizations. In Egypt, lavender was used in cosmetics and embalming products. The Greeks used lavender oil as perfume for their bodies. In Rome, lavender was widely regarded as a healing herb. Included in insect repellents and bath water, lavender was taken internally and topical in ancient Roman societies. In the Middle Ages, lavender flowers were grown and used by monks as medicinal herbs. The flowers became popular in England during the reign of Henry VIII, where lavender was used to sweeten the smell of linens, the air and even furniture polish. During the Victorian era, lavender oil again became a popular perfume among women.
Lavender Color Meaning
The color lavender, a soft shade of purple, is strongly feminine. Because purple is the color of royalty, the color lavender also speaks of elegance, refinement and luxury. Lavender-colored flowers speak of wealth and wisdom when given as a gift.
Lavender Flowers Meaning
Flowers that are lavender in color aren’t found on lavender plants alone. Some lavender-colored flowers convey their own special meanings when given to others. Sterling silver roses, which are lavender in color, convey a message of love at first sight and enchantment. Some types of catlaya orchids, delphiniums and freesia flowers also have lavender-colored blooms.Catlaya orchids send a message of calmness in the language of flowers, a code for flowers first developed by the Victorians.
True lavender flowers from the lavender plant also have their own special meaning. When given as a gift, lavender flowers represent purity, silence and luck. Lavender flowers also convey a message of devotion.
References and ResourcesDictionary: Lavender
Romance Stuck: Flower Symbolism
Lavender Enchantment: History of Lavender
Wedding Basics: Types of Flowers
ResourcesPionner Thinking: The Language of Flowers
Flower Dictionary: Meaning of Flowers
Today's Weddings: Flower Meanings
Wedding Bokay: Flower Symbolism
Global Garden: Herb File Part 3