|Scientific name:||Lavandula officinalis Chaix ex Vill.|
|Synonym name:||Lavandula angustifolia Mill., Lavandula pyrenaica DC., Lavandula spica L., Lavandula vera DC.|
|Common name:||common lavender, true lavender, English lavender|
|Hebrew name:||אזוביון רפואי|
|Family:||Lamiaceae / Labiatae, השפתניים|
|Life form:||Perennial shrub|
|Leaves:||Opposite, silvery green, linear leaves|
|Inflorescence:||Terminal clusters of flowerheads, verticillastrate|
|Flowers:||Pinkish-purple flowers on spikes|
|Fruits / pods:||Schizocarps|
|Flowering Period:||July, August, September|
Derivation of the botanical name:
Lavandula, Latin, lavare, meaning "to wash," and refers to the Roman custom of scenting bath water with the leaves and flowers of this aromatic plant.
officinalis, sold as an herb; medicinal.
angustifolia, angustus, drawn together; narrow; folius, leaf; narrow leaved.
pyrenaica, from the Pyrenees.
spica, point, ear (of grain), spike; spike.
Flowers are picked as they begin to open and used fresh, distilled for oil, or dried for use in infusions, spirits, and tinctures.
The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda. It was also commonly called nard.
Pliny, in his Natural History,Nardostachys jatamansi.
In the Bible, nard is referred to in the Song of Songs, as a symbol of the intimate nature of the Bride’s love.
Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
with choice fruits,
with henna and nard,
nard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes
and all the finest spices.
Song of Songs 4:13-14
Culpeper, 1652: "This is so well known, being an inhabitant in almost every garden, that it needeth no description.”
Salmon reported in his 1710 Herbal: "it is also good against the bitings of serpents, mad-dogs and other venomous creature, being given inwardly and applied poultice-wise to the parts wounded. The spirituous tincture of the dried leaves or seeds, if prudently given, cures hysterik fits though vehement and of long standing."
Dr. Fernie, William Thomas, 1830 (Herbal Simples): 'By the Greeks the name Nardus is given to Lavender, from Naarda, a city of Syria near the Euphrates, and many persons call the plant "Nard." St. Mark mentions this as Spikenard, a thing of great value.... In Pliny's time, blossoms of the Nardus sold for a hundred Roman denarii (or L.3 2s. 6d.) the pound. This Lavender or Nardus was called Asarum by the Romans, because it was not used in garlands or chaplets. It was formerly believed that the asp, a dangerous kind of viper, made Lavender its habitual place of abode, so that the plant had to be approached with great caution.'
John Gerard - English (1542-1612)- The Herball: 'It profiteth them much that have the palsy if they be washed with the distilled water from the Lavender flowers, or are annointed with the oil made from the flowers and olive oil in such manner as oil of roses is used.'