Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lavandula Summer – Raspberry Ruffles, Madrid Blue, and Lemon Leigh

Lavandula stoechas ‘Lemon Leigh’
Lavandula stoechas 'Lemon Leigh'

This season we picked up three different cultivars of lavender varieties: Lavandula stoechas ‘Mulberry Ruffles’ (patent pending), Lavandula stoechas ‘Madrid Blue’, and Lavandula stoechas ‘Lemon Leigh’ (patent pending). The first two are in the front yard where we don’t go so often to experience the plants. Both look great. The ‘Mulberry Ruffles’ has a nice deep pink color and well defined parent plants as detailed in the patent – it comes from good stock. It is part of a the Australian lavender ‘Ruffles Series’. The bracts on top look ruffled.

‘Madrid Blue’ is striking because of the combination of yellow (top, showy bracts), purple (flowers), and green (bracteole we believe) in the flower. It’s definitely different than your typical French/Spanish lavender which all three of these derive from.

The third cultivar, ‘Lemon Leigh’ we potted and placed on the deck where we often pass by it. This turned out to be a good decision because it’s generally a pretty plant and its foliage is nicely lemon-scented which is surprising at first. The flower spike is mostly green, due to those parts we think are called bracteoles, with white flowers and yellow top, showy bracts. They only negative we would mention about ‘Lemon Leigh’ is that the actual flowers tend to turn brown and hang around for a while. Though small, they don’t necessarily add up to a pretty spike, whereas some of your other stoechas age gracefully. The photos shown here of ‘Lemon Leigh’ were selected to not show the brown. According to the patent, ‘Lemon Leigh’ was “discovered growing in a cultivated area of Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand in 1998. The exact parents are unknown.”

Lavandula stoechas ‘Raspberry Ruffles’
Lavandula stoechas 'Raspberry Ruffles'

Lavandula stoechas ‘Madrid Blue’
Lavandula stoechas 'Madrid Blue'
Lavandula stoechas ‘Lemon Leigh’
Lavandula stoechas 'Lemon Leigh'

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