‘Grosso’ is one of the most commonly grown lavenders in the state of California as well as in the fields of France. There is very good reason for this, as even one plant in full bloom makes a stunning display. It is a widespread large gray-green foliaged plant, growing to as large as 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide when in bloom. Tall flower stems, as long as 2 feet, create elegant long cut flowers. The flower spikes are 3 inches long and cone shaped, with soft violet corollas and dark purple calyces that are slightly shiny. The flowers dry well, maintaining their deep color. Because they do not ‘shatter’, or lose their flowers from the stem when they dry, they are great to use in dried arrangements or wreaths.
This cultivar is excellent grown in hot, dry locations. Give it plenty of space, and prune it back after summer bloom to keep it from getting too woody. It is a later blooming lavender, usually blooming July-September.
‘Grosso’ is very high in essential oil, and is widely grown thoughout the world for its oil. It is higher in camphor than the English lavenders, so is typically used in detergents and cleansers.
Use ‘Grosso’ when cooking heavier meats or cheese dishes, and use sparingly as the strong flavor can easily overwhelm desserts or fish dishes.