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a genus of plants of the family Labiatae. They are herbs, subshrubs, and shrubs. There are more than 25 species, distributed mainly in the Mediterranean region. Many species of Lavandula have been used since ancient times to obtain valuable essential oils. Spike lavender (Lavandula spica), the principal source of lavender oil, is a fragrant subshrub measuring between 20 and 100 cm tall, with numerous branches rising from the base. The leaves are opposite; the young leaves have gray-tomentose pubescence. The inflorescences are interruptedly spiked, with violet or blue-violet flowers. Plants of this species are cultivated in many countries; in the USSR they are grown in the Crimea, Moldavia, Middle Asia, and the Caucasus. Essential oils are also obtained from L. latifolia and other species. The dried flowers and leaves of lavender, which retain their pleasant odor for a long time, are used to repel moths. Some species of Lavandula are ornamentals and good nectar-bearers.
REFERENCESEfiromaslichnye kul’tury. Edited by A. A. Khotin and G. T. Shul’gin. Moscow, 1963.
Buiukli, M. V. Lavanda i ee kul’tura ν SSSR. Kishinev, 1969.