Spike lavender, Lavandula latifolia is commonly grown in the southern Mediterranean countries of Spain, Portugal and Italy, with Spain the dominant oil producer.
The plant itself grows at lower altitudes to that of other lavender species and has a higher oil yield (sometimes 3 times higher). Typically these two factors result in this essential oil being cheaper than other sources. The plant can grow between 40-80 cm in height and is typically harvested between June and September.
The odour profile of lavender spike is different to that of the more commonly know Lavandula angustifolia type as it is stronger with more dominant camphor notes, almost eucalyptus like.
Due to its odour strength it is typically used in small amounts in the perfumery industry. Its healthcare and therapeutic properties make it an interesting product as a analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, insecticide, stimulant and stomachic active.
The harvest usually happens in August, when the plant flourishes. There were intense rains almost every week this summer; this forced farmers to put a hold on the harvesting and distillation. Eventually, distillation was completed by the last week of September. The average production yield has decreased as the harvest period lengthened. At the beginning of the crop it was 35 kg/hectare, and at the end of the crop it decreased to 24 kg/hectare. Prices this year have slid down compared to the prices of previous years as a consequence of the increase in plantations and the drop in demand. This was a preferred oil in the perfumer’s palette some time ago, however this is not the case now.
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