Questions & Answers - Culinary Lavender
Hi Linda, you have a beautiful and very informative web-site. Thank you for that. I do have one question however. Is all Lavender edible?
I have noted that I have
3 varieties in my front yard. The lavender color ranges from very
light in color to very deep purple. The scent is also more prominent
in the deep purple plant. As I am interested in making lavender
sugar and jelly, I would greatly appreciate knowing if all lavender
is edible. thank you so much for your response.
It is usually the English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) buds that are used in cooking. The English lavender is the preferred lavender of choice for cooking because of its sweet fragrance. There are two main types of Lavender used for cooking:
From everything I’ve read and researched, all lavender seems to be edible. The only lavender recommended for cooking is angustifolia, which has a light, sweet smell, whereas the others are all high in camphor oil, which is slightly bitter in food and is treated by the body as a toxin.
When cutting for color, lavender should be cut as the first flowers begin to open. When cutting for fragrance, the oil content actually increases if you wait until the majority of the flower buds have opened. However, waiting may cause considerable flower drop after the stems are dried.