Plants for Water-Wise Pollinator Gardens: Lavender (Lavandula species)


Plant Family

Mint Family (Labiatae /Lamiaceae)

Common Name



Lavender is a popular drought tolerant woody perennial native to the Mediterranean region of Europe. It is an aromatic sub-shrub and is used as an herb as well as for its fragrance.

There are many species of lavender but the most commonly planted types in the U.S. are the hardier English lavenders (Lavendula angustifolia).

Field of lavender with mountains in the background
Lavender fields, Mona, UT Photo credit: tomkellyphoto Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Flower spikes range in color from white and pink to dark purple. Plants may bloom twice or more depending on species, cultivar, and deadheading practices.

Lavender performs best in well drained soils and full sun. English lavenders are adapted to USDA Zones 5 through 8 but will survive in warmer protected areas of Zone 4.

They are generally compact plants with grayish leaves but plants tend to get gangly if not properly pruned and may need replacing after a few years. Lavender cultivars vary in height and width but can grow to 36 inches tall and wide.


Syrphid flies (hover flies)

Bee visiting lavender
Bee visiting lavender Photo credit: Jessica Lucia. Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Additional Resources:


California – Lavender
Utah – English Lavender in the Garden