I wrote a story recently about everything lavender (the plant, not the color) and as part of my research I talked with growers about the best varieties, including some of the colorful types developed by plant breeders. A stack of colorful catalogs hogs a good portion of my desk praising all these fabulous new plants, and I expected to hear glowing comments. Instead, growers were lukewarm.
“(Companies) are tending to patent every new plant that comes out before trialing any of them,” said Sandy Livingstone, a commercial lavender grower from Tenino. “Some of these varieties are not good for our area.”
And a lot of the new plants aren’t that different either, she said. When it comes to lavender, she suggested sticking with tried and true varieties such as ‘Hidcote,’ ‘Otto Quast,’ ‘Gros Bleu,’ and ‘Grosso.’