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Lavender with Charles

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Through our virtual programming series, Nature in your Neighborhood, we challenged volunteers to go out into their neighborhoods or backyards to see what plants sparked their interest. Whether plants are native or non native, we can all appreciate a connection to nature and the curiosity that it can spark!

By: Charles and Angela Liang

Lavenders flourish best in dry, well-drained, sandy soils in full sun. Lavenders need little or no fertilizer and good air circulation. It grows best in soils with a pH between 6 and 8. Most lavender is hand- harvested. One major reason lavender is so prized is that its flowers keep their fragrance when dried.

The lavenders are widely cultivated for commercial use. The plant is grown mainly for the production of lavender essential oil of lavender. The essential oil was used in hospitals during World War I. The lavender essential oil can be used in perfumes, cosmetic skincare products. The US Food and Drug Administration considers lavender as generally recognized as safe for human consumption. Lavender is used as a spice in pastas, salads and desserts. For most cooking applications the dried flowers are used. Lavender flowers are put into sugar for two weeks to allow the essential oils and fragrance to transfer, then the sugar itself is used in baking. Lavender flowers can be used raw in salads, added to soups, used as seasoning, baked into cookies, and brewed into tea.

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