Lavender Association of Western Colorado
Specialty Crop Grant FY 2012
Research Results and Findings of Lavender Essential Oils
Produced by Western Colorado Growers
English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and the hybrid lavandin (L. x intermedia) cultivars have been successfully grown and harvested in western Colorado for 10 or more years. While the worldwide market for the essential oil of lavender is substantial, no research has been conducted in Colorado to determine the yield or quality of oil of the various cultivars available for production in Colorado.
This research project was designed to answer:
- which cultivars produce the largest quantity of essential oil;
- which cultivars produce the highest quality of essential oil;
We also researched and compiled information on:
- the average yield of dried buds per variety; and
- winter survival per variety.
Essential Oil Research
The Lavender Association of Western Colorado, led by Dr. Curtis Swift and his team of research assistants, Travis Bondurant and Honora Carr, spent the summer of 2013 harvesting, distilling and analyzing the results of the GC/MS reports generated on 11 cultivars of English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and lavandins (L. x intermedia).
Nine cultivars were harvested from the main lavender research farm Green Acres U-Pick in Palisade, Colorado. One cultivar ‘Maillette’ was harvested from Sage Creations Organic Farm in Palisade, Colorado. One cultivar ‘Royal Velvet’ was harvested from A Pinch of Lavender farm in Palisade, Colorado. Floral stems from each cultivar were harvested in sufficient quantity to provide seven liters of material. The decision was made to use fresh lavender flowers and stems per the ISO standards.
In July of 2013, the floral stems of 11 cultivars of Lavandula angustifolia and L. x intermedia were distilled and evaluated by Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry to determine the content of their constituents. The results were compared with the International Standards for Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Lavandin (L. x intermedia ‘Grosso’).
To see the entire report, please click on the link below.