This section is intended to help you understand specific words or phrases used by lavender enthusiasts that appear in various places on the website.
Buds: usually refers to flower buds from plants within the Lavandula augustifolia or
Lavandula x intermedia species, dried and cleaned (to varying degrees).
Common type: generic designations of lavender plants such as “English
lavender” (Lavandula augustifolia), “French lavender” (Lavandula x intermedia), or
“Spanish lavender” (Lavandula stoechas). These terms do not imply a specific cultivar.
Culinary lavender: any variety in the Lavandula genus that produces a fragrance that is amenable to culinary applications. The term is generally used in reference to buds, oils, and extracts.
Distillation: physical process of isolating plant essential oil from the source material by mobilizing it into a gaseous phase, and then recondensing the oil in collection chambers.
In the case of lavender, steam distillation is the most common specific method used.
Essential oil: complex mixture of volatile organic compounds produced by a plant, often responsible for its characteristic fragrance.
Hydrosol: condensed water phase product of steam distillation, containing some
fragrance compounds from the source material.
Lavandin: common-use term for the hybrid species of lavender Lavandula x intermedia,
characterized generally by larger plant size, higher oil production, and greater content of
camphorous compounds in comparison to Lavandula augustifolia.
Lavandula: the plant genus under which all lavender types are categorized.
LNW branded lavender products: select private-label items featuring lavender
produced under the direction of the Lavender Northwest, and offered for sale by
LNW member businesses. Current culinary items include: Marionberry Lavender Seedless Preserves, three lavender flavored chocolate bars (dark, milk, and white), and a Lavender Recipe Trifold.
Potpourri: a mixture of dried buds, petals, leaves, spices, and herbs placed in a bowl or sack, and used to perfume rooms and closed spaces like drawers and closets.
Specified variety: a named cultivar within a specific species of Lavandula, such as
Lavandula x intermedia “Grosso”.
U-pick: the cutting of lavender flower stalks by the person wanting to purchase bunches or bouquets.
We-pick: the cutting of lavender flower stalks for bunches or bouquets by a representative of the grower.