Lavender vs Lavandin: A Complete Comparison

Lavender and Lavandin are the most popular aromatic plants for gardens and commercial use. However, many people confuse them, thinking they are the same plant. In this article, I’ll explain their similarities and differences so you can easily tell them apart.

Before proceeding, and to prevent any potential confusion, let’s establish clear definitions for Lavender and Lavandin in this article.

Lavender vs Lavandin plant

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

There are many different species of lavender, but in this article, we refer to the English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), also known as common lavender, which is the one often confused with lavandin.

Lavandin (Lavandula x Intermedia)

Lavandin is a hybrid lavender. However, there are many hybrid lavenders that result from a cross between lavender parents like for example Lavandula x allardii (L.latifolia and L.dentata), Lavandula x ginginsii (L.dentata x L. lanata), Lavandula x cavanillesii (L. angustifolia × L. dentata) and many more.

In this article, I refer to the hybrid Lavandula x intermedia (L. angustifolia x L. latifolia), also called Lavandin.

Let’s compare these two plants based on their visual characteristics, ecological characteristics, origins, and uses.

Lavender vs Lavandin – Visual comparison

While Lavender and Lavandin have similarities in their flower, stem, leaf and growth habits, there are also some notable differences. Let’s check them out:

Flower

Lavender vs Lavandin flower
LavenderLavandin
Inflorescence is smaller and more compact.  Flowers are typically a dark blue-purple or pinkish, with blue-mauve buds. Flowering earlier – mid June to early July.Inflorescence is longer and more spike-shaped.
Flowers are typically light purple to white, with greyish purple buds. Flowering later mid July – late July

Leaf

Lavender vs Lavandin leaf
LavenderLavandin
Narrower leaf (linear lanceolate).
Grey-green covered in fine hair. 
Broader leaf (Linear lanceolate to spathulate).
Grey-green covered with fine hair.

Stem

Lavender vs Lavandin stem
LavenderLavandin
Thin and unbranched.
Shorter and more densely packed with leaves.
Thicker and branched with lateral shoots also carrying flower heads.
Longer and more loosely packed with leaves.

Plant

Lavender vs Lavandin plant
LavenderLavandin
A mounding cushion form growing lower to the ground with shorter and more compact stems.
Average size: height: 30 cm (1 ft) and flower stalk 60 cm (2 ft). Width 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 ft).
An upright to mounding cushion form. Growing higher with taller and less compact stems. An overall larger size.
Average size: height: 40cm (1.3 ft) and flower stalk 70 cm (2.6 ft). Width 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 ft).

Lavender vs Lavandin – Ecological comparison

Although both these plants are hardy and drought-tolerant, they have some differences. Lavender is a bit more resistant to cold and frost while Lavandin is a bit more resistant to drought.

lavender vs lavandin - ecological comparison

Lavender vs Lavandin – Origin comparison

Both Lavender and Lavender originate from the Mediterranean basin. While Lavender is a little more widely spread (Spain, France, and Italy), Lavandin appears naturally in a more restricted area (Spain and France).

Lavender can be found growing at higher altitudes while Lavandin can only be found at lower altitudes because Spike Lavender, the other one of its parents, grows at lower altitudes.

Lavender origin

Lavandin Origin

Lavender vs Lavandin – Usage comparison

In addition to their ornamental value in gardens, both Lavender and Lavandin have many other uses. Let’s compare them.

LavenderLavandin
Oil ProductionLower yeildHigher yeild (3 times more per kg)
Production CostsMore expensive to produceCheaper to produce
FragranceMilder and more sweet floral fragranceStronger and more pungent fragrance (higher camphor percentage)
AromatherapyFor a sedative effectFor stimulating effect
Commercial UsePerfumery, soap, and body care products.Household soaps, cleaning products, and air fresheners.
CulinaryWidely used due to its mild and sweat flavourNot very appreciated due to its strong camphor scent.
MedicinalSedative, antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal (source)Antioxidant, antimicrobial, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic. (source).

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