Lavandula species, hybrids and cultivars
Generally, the Lavenders are not well suited to the humid tropical and subtropical regions of Queensland, yet many gardeners in the region like to try growing these classic cottage garden plants. This page is especially for those wishing to grow lavender in Qld.
So-called English lavender (L. angustifolia, also known as L. vera, L. officinalis or "true" lavender) is the type typically used as a herb and for perfume but is unfortunately the least suitable for growing here. Neverless, it's sometimes seen for sale in local garden centres (often the cultivars 'Munstead' and 'Hidcote').
"French" lavender (L. dentata) is usually advised for the subtropics but is not suitable for perfume or edible purposes.
Many new cultivars and hybrids of this and other lavender species are coming onto the market every year and may be worth trying. These are also bred for ornamental use rather than fragrance and are probably not edible, either.
The grey leaves and Mediterranean origin are an indication of the type of conditions these plants prefer. Ensuring good drainage and air circulation, supplementation with lime or dolomite and rejuvenation with light pruning after flowering (but not into old wood) should help them look good. Nevertheless, However, they'll probably need replacing after a few years.
The naming of the lavenders is quite confusing and is only likely to become worse as more species, hybrids and botanically unidentified trademarked lines are brought onto the market. Those interested in investigating the lavenders further should check out the links at the bottom of this page.
Where to buy lavender plants
Provided they will grow in your region, general garden centres might have have lavender plants for sale (be sure to look in the punnet section as well as the larger potted perennials). Garden centres are the most likely to stock varieties bred for landscaping use.
Herb nurseries and cottage garden specialists are also places to look for lavenders.
Sometimes lavender farms that operate as tourist attractions might have nurseries attached that will sell you plants.