Spike Lavender and Provence Lavender
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: SarahMack Brumit
Posted on: January 16, 1999

What is the difference between spike and Provence lavender. I bought some 2 years ago and they look alike. Are they the same. They are doing great. I live in the mountains of North Carolina--very cold lots of snow. It is zone 6 but a cold zone 6. I want to order more but am unsure whether to order spike or provence as I now don’t know which is which. Can you help me decide which to order?

Provence is a hybrid between spike lavender (L. latifolia) and english lavender (L. angustifolia). It has the leaves of spike, but has the more refined scent of english. Superficially, Provence would look similar to spike. Provence and other hybrids are the most important lavenders in the French lavender oil industry.

If you are trying to choose between Provence and spike, Provence is the superior variety. It has a better scent, is more productive, and is hardier than spike. The main advantage to spike is that is can be grown easily from seeds and quickly multiplied, while Provence, being a hybrid, does not produce seeds that come true to form. Provence is propagated by cuttings only.

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