Any of about 30 species of evergreen shrubs that make up the genus Lavandula in the mint family, the leaves and flowers of which contain scented oil glands. The spikes of flowers are purple, less commonly pink or white. Native to the Mediterranean, lavender is cultivated widely. Several species yield essential oil for fine perfumes and cosmetics. The narrow, fragrant leaves and flowers are dried for use in sachets and potpourris. Lavender is widely used in aromatherapy for its clean, fresh scent.
Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas).—W.H. Hodge
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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