Properties and cultivation of Lavender latifolia
Lavender latifolia (Lavandula latifolia Medik., 1783) is an evergreen suffruticose plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family, which is distinguished from the medicinal lavender by the narrower leaves. It is also known as spikelet of San Giovanni, as it produces intensely scented inflorescences of an electric blue color. In this sheet we will see properties and cultivation of lavender latifolia which, like all varieties, is easy to grow both in pots and in the ground.
Lavender latifolia prefers full sun and temperate climates, with preferably light soil and rich in organic substance, even if it grows a little in all soils. As for water supplies this plant is not very demanding of water but in periods of prolonged drought it requires regular irrigation. The plant requires weeding to remove the weeds and hoeing to keep the crust soft or, alternatively, very recommended, mulching with straw or leaves.
As for multiplication, this can be by seed or by cuttings. Sowing is done directly on the field in spring. As for propagation by cuttings, this is done in late summer or late winter.
The lavender latifolia is harvested in the summer before the flowers bloom, taking care to dry the bunches collected in the shade and in an airy place. Lavender pruning is done at the end of winter by pruning the branches of the previous year’s vegetation 10 cm from the collar to encourage flowering and invigorate the crown.
According to folk medicine this plant has the following medicinal properties:
– antibacterial (blocks the generation of bacteria);
– antiseptic (property to prevent or slow down the development of microbes);
– antispasmodic (reduces muscle spasms, and also relaxes the nervous system);
– carminative (favors the leakage of intestinal gases);
– emmenagoga (regulates menstrual flow).
Lavender latifolia is also used in the kitchen, in fact the flowers are edible and can be used in the preparation of biscuits, cakes and added to risotto, gnocchi.
Lavender is a mellifera plant and honey can be produced; to produce a monovarietal honey, however, it is necessary to have large productions and an intensive type; from the ecological point of view instead it is very useful because it provides a good food for the pollinators.
Among other uses we recall that of the production of essential oils for the packaging of incense and as repellete for insects. Lavender essential oil has a sedative and calming effect: it fights stress, insomnia, hypertension, tachycardia. Used vaporized, protects against annoying insects (mosquitoes).
The lavender flower has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and for these reasons it is used to fight flu, colds, sore throat, bronchitis, boils, sores, rashes and slight burns.
The cut and dried flowers are used in perfumery and even at home to perfume clothes and sheets and to keep away the moths.