Dec. 14, 2020

English lavender, Lavendula angustifolia

English lavender may be the best example of a plant we could all recognize just from the aroma. It has long been a dominant plant for sachets and for the herbal medicine culture. And now it gets to be part of my next rant about television plant blindness. There's a current ad for herbal supplements that shows a hand holding a stalk of a pressed plant with a spike of purple flowers. Then we cut to the hand holding a fresh stalk, and a field of purple in the background. Are we supposed to notice that the pressed and fresh plants aren't the same species? I suspect not. Is this another case where they count on our not knowing or noticing what's going on? Like the poison sumac clue in one mystery that wasn't at all like poison sumac? I suspect it is, and can't understand the carelessness or audience contempt. On the other hand, does it matter? If the similarities of their samples are just in our heads, well so are the benefits of most herbal remedies. If they mix up the plants they put in their jars, so what? Lavender rarely escapes to the American wild, reported only from NY and VT. Beal Gardens, MSU, 7/31/16. Mint family, Lamiaceae.