There are about 22 different species of lavender in the Euro-Mediterranean area; the most widespread in Italy are: L. spica, L. stoechas, L. angustifolia, L. dentata, L. multifida. The name derives from the Latin "lavare" (to wash) and alludes to the fact that these species were widely used in ancient times to cleanse the body.
Lavender flowers in the period from June to July, though this can vary depending on the area and weather conditions.
Lavender has been known since ancient times for its analgesic properties and for relieving muscle pain.
In the 16th century lavender had its heyday in cosmetics and perfumery. In the Elizabethan era, women used to carry bags containing the dried flowers of the plant to perfume themselves and their clothes.
When people think of lavender groves, the landscape of Provence often comes to mind, as it is undoubtedly iconic and representative of that geographical area, but this plant has also managed to spread throughout much of Italy. In the Alps and the Apennines it grows wild from 300 to 1000 m above sea level, but it is also cultivated on extensive fields, maintained by farms or agritourism undertakings, which obtain essential oils, cosmetics or use it for food purposes.
Today it is a widely used plant in the Mediterranean garden often associated with aromatic plants.