The New Student's Reference Work/Lavender
Lav′ender, a family of plants having the stamens and style surrounded by a two-lipped corolla, the upper lip two-lobed and the lower three-lipped. The common lavender grows wild on the mountains and hills of southern Europe, and is generally cultivated in gardens further north. It has a delightfully fragrant odor, and contains a great quantity of oil. The spikes and flowers are used in medicine as a tonic and nerve stimulant. The flowers are much used to scent wardrobes and in perfumery, and are blue-gray in color. The oil of the broad-leaved lavender is used by artists on porcelain and in making varnishes. It is made by distilling the flower with water; spirits of lavender by distilling them with spirits; and lavender water, the toilet preparation, by dissolving oil of lavender with other oils in spirits. Lavender gets its name from Latin lavare, to wash, because it was used in bathing.