Where does the plant come from?
The lavender plant is a member of the mint family. A perennial shrub, it can be traced back to the Mediterranean region where it thrived in the sunny climate. Two species of this plant exist - the English, or true lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and the spike lavender (L. latifolia). The English variety produces oil of a superior quality, while the spike produces three times the quantity of the former.
Lavender plants require extra attention and care, which makes them a challenge for novice gardeners. To flourish, lavender needs calcareous, free-draining soils with pH ranging from 6.0 to 8.0. It also needs moderate levels of phosphorus and potassium in order for its flowers to bloom. Lavender does not tolerate continuously damp soil, nor can it grow alongside weeds. Wind exposure is another key factor that affects its development, and should be kept to a minimum to avoid loss of flowers.
How lavender oil is produced
Lavender oil is often produced at the farms where the lavender itself is cultivated. The harvested flowers are transferred to a large drum and from there, the distillation process begins. Here, steam is used to extract the oil from the flowers and release it as a vapour. The water and oil mixture generated in the process is then cooled until it reverts back to its liquid state - a pure lavender oil.
Lavender in Australia
Australia is a net importer of lavender oil. Both species are prevalent across the country, and the industry is growing as attested by the establishment of its own association, The Australian Lavender Growers Association, Inc., which is also a proud member of The Essential Oils Producers Association of Australia.
Lavender is commonly grown across Tasmania and Victoria, as well as in southern and western New South Wales, southeastern parts of Queensland and South Australia, and the Margaret River region along Western Australia. Lavender growth in is, in fact, a tourist attraction down under. The undulating Australian countryside makes for an ideal environment for it to thrive year round.
Are you a lavender lover? At Euca, lavender is one of our favourite ingredients. We don’t use any harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances in our products, and lavender has an intense natural aroma that leaves fabrics smelling divine. You can still pick up our Limited Edition Euca Lavender Products, with only a few still in stock be sure to not miss out!
Or, alternatively explore our other Euca products here!