Lavender is a genus that is made up of 30 species in the mint family, Lamiaceae. With long elegant flowering shoots, lavender flowers range from lilac to blue in color. They can grow over a foot in height and can live for 20-30 years.
Harvest lavender just before flowers open. To harvest, snip stems when half of the buds are in bloom. Cut stems low and leave some leaves at the base of the plant. To dry, bundle the lavendar stems.
Lavender is often used to alleviate anxiety, stress, and insomnia. In addition, it is also used to treat skin conditions and mouth sores. Besides medicinal use, lavender is used in many dishes from desserts to savory meals.