With its brisk aroma and eye-catching flowers, lavender has become a symbol of the delicious life. To many people lavender evokes a mythical Provençal night: the window open to the warm night air, a view of faraway hills, clean linen, crusty baguettes, a bottle of wine, and someone to love.
Limestone Valley Estate grows three distinct varieties of heavenly Lavender:
'Grosso' - used mainly by the perfume and cosmetics industries but also used as a culinary 'herb'.
'Pacific Blue' - A wonderful variety especially good for culinary as well as other applications.
'Avice Hill' - Another beautiful culinary lavender with a very distinct character which lends itself to many other applications.
'Grosso' • Lavandin
Of the Lavandins, the best for all-round performance is the variety 'Grosso'. 'Grosso' is the primary commercial variety for production of lavender oil. Its deep aroma, large flower heads, and heavy-flowering nature make it a high oil yielding variety.
With some of the most richly colored flowers of all Lavandins, 'Grosso' makes an impressive show. Its flowers are a strong violet-blue that shimmer in the summer sunlight. It has an elegant habit, with long, graceful flower wands making a vast lilac halo around the central mound of silver foliage. It is heavy-flowering, with sporadic repeat bloom after the main flush of flower in midsummer.
'Grosso' has outstanding fragrance and is renowned for the sweetness of its oil in the perfumery trade. This variety originated in France.
'Grosso' as well as use by the perfume and cosmetics industries, can also be used in all medicinal, herbal and culinary preparations calling for lavender.
Combine the flowers with fresh thyme, rosemary and fennel for a lively version of herbes de Provence. It is best to use lavender sparingly, to add just a bit of edge to culinary preparations. Otherwise, it quickly becomes overpowering.
'Pacific Blue' • Lavandula angustifolia
'Pacific Blue' is a Lavender variety in the Lavandula genus with a scientific name of Lavandula angustifolia 'Pacific Blue'.
Pacific Blue is a beautiful ornamental, oil and hedging lavender. A bushy round shrub bearing a profusion of fragrant bright violet blue flower spikes.
This variety is of French origin, imported into New Zealand principally for superfine lavender oil production. It makes a medium sized densely mounded bush with prolific flower spikes of bright violet blue with delightful fragrance.
'Pacific Blue' is most often used in all herbal and culinary preparations calling for lavender. Combine the flowers with fresh thyme, rosemary and fennel for a lively version of herbes de Provence. It is best to use lavender sparingly, to add just a bit of edge to culinary preparations.
Great in ice cream and bakery items such as scones and biscuits.
'Avice Hill' • Lavandula angustifolia
'Avice Hill' has a very unusual and distinct aroma and is very well rounded. The oil comes from a New Zealand cultivated Lavandula angustifolia and is grown in the South Island. It was bred in New Zealand by Virginia McNaughton and named after her great mentor in the field of herbs and lavenders, Avice Hill.
It has the lowest level of the allergen Linalool of any L. angustifolia lavender oil commercially available in the World.
It has some of the highest levels of the beneficially active ingredients found in lavender, while maintaining a well-rounded balanced floral aroma.
It has some of the lowest levels of the less desirable ingredients found in lavender oil making it an ideal variety for use in culinary applications both sweet and savoury as well as for medicinal, perfumery and cosmetic uses.