“Lavender loves to make you happy! It totally has a chill and sedating effect, causing you to reduce stress by calming the nervous system.
Everyone loves Lavender…well, almost everyone, and if you do these are some of its’ gifts. In addition to the above, it is considered an adaptogen, which means it meets the need of the body to offer up what is needed to stay in homeostasis. Expect skin benefits for healing and bug bites, rashes, and acne to name a few of its wonderful qualities.
And guess what? There are over 65 species of Lavender. Wow! How cool is that? Which one do you love? If you can answer that question with the genus and species then you will understand why it works so amazingly!
What is genus and species, why does it matter? Lavender, like all plants, is blessed with 2 names, a common name and its botanical name. The common name is what most of us call a plant, like Lavender or Rose or Sandalwood. The genus and species are the botanical name plants are known by (classification) in the world of botany. Sort of like your birth name and along the way somebody, like your mom or knuckle headed brother, gives you a nickname.
Do you have a nickname that loved ones call you but in all of your formal life, at school and on all important documents your given name at birth is used? The genus and species I speak of above is Lavandula angustifolia and Lavender, the common (nickname) name, has lots of species. However, if we need to single it out and refer to the correct plant, knowing the botanical name is a must. Like our names, there are formal rules for writing. The first name or genus is capitalized and the second name species is not and is also in italics.
The species helps to identify the physical characteristics of the plant based on the classification system developed in the 1700s by Carl Von Linnaeus. The genus refers to the parents and the species refers to the siblings. So, Lavender the plant starts with the genus Lavandula it then will have a species name such as – angustifolia; latifolia; stoechas.
For instance, people often love English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) which has sub categories or varieties, as seen in the list provided. Some are more fragrant then others, some are better for use in dried arrangements some are scented all season or keep their color and some are used in culinary recipes with excellent results. They all have different traits, don’t look the same, have a variety of shapes, colors and buds or leaves.
List of English lavenders:
Lavandula angustifolia SuperBlue
Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote
Lavandula angustifolia Blue Cushion
Lavandula angustifolia Munstead
Lavandula angustifolia Blue River
Lavandula angustifolia Mini Blue
Lavandula angustifolia Jean Davis
And there are other types of Lavender such as Yellow Lavender, Spanish Lavender and French Lavender aka Lavandula dentata. While English Lavender has the fragrance we most associate with lavender other Lavender species offer different scents that you will not associate with the angustifolia. They are sometimes more pungent or Camphoraceous and are used, in the EO, for different purposes.
Lavender is such a special plant. Each species has a combination of characteristics that are unique yet sometimes similar in some ways. Lavandula angustifolia is possibly one of the most used of the Lavender species, and it is one of the most used plants for our mental, physical, and spiritual upliftment.” ~ Cha Roberts