Scientific Name: Lavendula officinalis
Plant Characteristics: Lavender has spiky silvery gray green leaves with highly fragrant purple-blue flowers that bloom in the summer.
Aromatic: Lavender was used for its fragrance in everything from soaps to perfumes. The plant was also used as an air freshener, helping to temper toe putrid smells of poor drainage and sanitation common in colonial and Federal-period cities.
Medicinal: In addition to its bacteria-killing uses in soaps, lavender was also made into a tea to alleviate headaches. Generally, Lavender was considered somewhat of a miracle plant, and was believed to cure 43 different ailments.
Fun Fact: The plant’s name comes from the Latin word lavo, which means “to wash.” This obviously refers to the plant’s ubiquitous use in soaps and other cleansing products.