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Tree Campus: Lavender

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b



Lavandula (LAMIACEAE)



Mediterranean origin, distributed nearly worldwide.



"Lavender is also beneficial for the garden because it attracts non-invasive insects, such as bumble bees, honey bees, butterflies, lady bugs and praying mantises, which then help manage the invasive insect population." [1]


Cultural and Historical Significance

"Essential lavender oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors and walls...  Infusions of lavender soothe and heal insect bites and burns. Bunches of lavender repel insects. If applied to the temples, lavender oil soothes headaches. In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation. An Infusion of three flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water soothes and relaxes at bedtime. Lavender oil has also been used to heal acne when used diluted 1:10 with water, Rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions. Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black, green, or Herbal tea, adding a fresh, relaxing scent and flavor. Additionally, lavender is classified as an antiemetic, which prevents vomiting. Research on lavender has shown it to be effective in relieving anxiety and pain for hospice patients...

Lavender is native to the Middle East and India, with history spanning over 2,500 years ago. In the 7th century, Arabs domesticated the plant and then brought it to Spain. The Spanish then in turn brought the plant to North America (5). Lavender is now a popular herb used in many different cultures around the world. In New Mexico, in the United States, local herbal folk healers, or curanderas, regard lavender as a central remedio. Curandera practices puts emphasis on lavender to assist in childbirth and infancy health. The herb is placed in a brass planter to burn, with the smoke to sooth and relax the mother during childbirth. After the child is born, the mother is then purified with the incense once again. The seeds are given to the babies after being chewed to sooth the baby’s mouth and gums. Lavender is also used to fumigate sick rooms (5). In Mexican cultures, lavender is brewed as a tea and used for indigestion. The plant is also bundled and burned to form smudge sticks, for purifying rooms (6). Lavender is a symbol for Province, France, where it grows in beautifully striking fields. The culture of Province is connected greatly to the plant, both from the farming and production aspect of the plant but also from an artistic perspective. The area has attracted many famous artists to the region because of the beautiful sunshine and of course, the fields of lavender. Van Gogh painted over 200 oil canvases, and Matisse and Picasso also built chapels in the area, leaving dozens of works to the neighboring cities in the region." [1]

The dried flowers have been used to scent chests full of clothing, and were used by the ancient Romans to perfume their baths.[2]



Lavender oil is distilled from flowers and used in perfumes and cosmetics. Also used as an herb in drinks and baked goods, and displayed as an ornamental flower.[2]

"These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products." [1]



[1] LAVENDER (LAVANDULA). UIC Centers for Understanding and Social Change.

[2] The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2015, September 11). Lavender. Retrieved from

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