Two lovely new lavenders swap the classic pair of winged petals for a clustered crown
Two lavenders bred in Australia and available this spring mark a breakthrough for this perennial favourite. In what is a world first in plant breeding, these varieties have double flowers.
Plant breeder John Robb from Paradise Plants in New South Wales, who is responsible for the new Lavish range, says this flower type represents 15 years of work.
They have been bred using the Italian or winged lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and Spanish lavender (L. pedunculata), which have wing-like petals at the top of each flower spike. The new double varieties have not two or three, but a cluster of crowning wings. The bigger the plants grow, the more wings are found on their flowers, resulting in a highly frilled effect.
The double blooms in two tones of pink live up to their Lavish name. The lighter pink ‘Lavish Musk’ (left) and deep pink ‘Lavish Rose’ (above) are the first to be released, while purple, white and a bright pink are set to follow later.
Double lavenders can be grown in temperate, inland, Mediterranean and cool zones, and are worth a try in the cooler parts of the subtropics. They need protection from heavy frost.
These varieties have a naturally rounded and compact habit to about 50cm high and wide. They tolerate full sun to part shade, and can be grown in the garden or in containers. The main requirement is well-drained soil or potting mix for them to grow well.
They produce fragrant flowers from winter to spring, and have flushes of blooms at other times. Lightly prune after flowering to maintain their shape. Feed in spring and summer.