hidcote superior lavender

I have been looking at the catalogs and noticing that some of them are showing a hidecote "superior" lavender. I was planning on getting some hidcote lavender to pair with some roses I will be planting. Anyone know about this variety? Is it actually a new variety or do the nurserys just label their selected variety superior?
mm
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (mmarteen) wrote:

It's a SMALLER version of wild lavender & it's very pleasant. I don't believe it's particularly new, but it has become a standard, & absolutely nothing wrong with it, though there certainly are other strains just as nice, & fits into much smaller areas than wilder full-sized strains. If one wanted to train lavender as a hedge, or see it turn into a rugged-trunked gnarly old thing in a decade, little "Hidcote" wouldn't fit that bill; but for a flowery beautifully scented subshrub it's so nice there's no reason to seek out anything less common.
It doesn't want much watering, so if it's with a type of rose that calls for regular watering, it might not be as perfect, but older well rooted roses also don't need much water so would be great companions.
I wrote up a bit about wild true lavender: http://www.paghat.com/lavender.html in comparison to Hidcote cultivar: http://www.paghat.com/lavenderhidcote.html & basically I like them both, though wilder big ones can provide more drama than Hidcote.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Paghat,
Is there any difference between hidcote and hidcote "superior"? I am actually looking for something small or dwarf to fit into a little rose niche that I am planning.
I should also mention that I am in zone 4, Minneapolis and I know that most lavender is on the edge here. I had a couple different varieties of lavender a few years back at my old place, a hidcote, a munstead and a croxton's wild which all died when we had a rediculously dry, subzero winter. I now have some munstead along a walkway that I hope to keep alive with serious mulching every year.
mm
(mmarteen) wrote:

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I misread your post & thought you'd said someone called Hidcote "superior" not that there was new cultivar called "Hidcot Superior" -- the quotations matter! I hadn't heard of "Hidcote Superior" but a quick look on line finds nobody claiming "Hidcote Superior" is actually an improved "Hidcote Blue," & they would make that claim if it were so, hence chances are it's a company-specific rename of the old standard dwarf form of the much larger natural L. angustifolia.
It appears to be specifically the marketing gambit by Jelitto, who nowhere in their catalog claims it is a distinct cultivar, only that their seed, marketed as "Hidcote Superior" since 2001, produces reliably similar plants (though it does not germinate easily). It isn't given as a new registered cultivar, I'd assume it isn't, & if you buy it under the registered name "Hidcote Blue" or under the trade name "Hidcote Superior," the only thing the latter name would indicate is that the seed came originally from Jelitto; the plants would otherwise be the same (probably). If it WERE a new cultivar, RHS plus a couple of the leading perennial associations in the US & Europe would be field-testing it, & a hasty search at the relevant websites finds no such field tests.

I have no experience in such a chilly-wintered climate. Hidcote is not usually recommended below zone 6, but is certainly stretchable down to zone 5 with some protective measures. If you see others in Minneapolis growing L angustifolia of any kind successfully, though, I can't imagine any reason to assume Hidcote wouldn't do just as well, despite the generalities about it preferring zones 6 through 9. If you don't see it around, the only reason would be it doesn't like the world that cold. Your experience with Hidcote at your previous address will probably not be different at your new stead, though if your roses beneath which you want to plant so happen to grow right against the house, there's always some protective residual warmth in such locations.
-paggers

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Hi,
My daughter has some lavender, we both live in Canada in Zone 5 Cdn. It thrives well in her garden. Some years ago she gave me some to plant here. Some thing happen to it (I do not remember what) and it died. I just ordered some seed from a catalogue. I ordered their Hidcote Bleu Lavender.
Here is what was written about it. Hidcote Bleu Lavender (P) Lavender angustifolia Common Lavender or Mediterranean Lavender. The best and most compact form. Dark foliage color and deeper blue flower than Munstead variety. Flowers June to August. Height 12 inches. Zone 5.
Note that Canadian Zone 5 is colder than the American zone 5. For example today, at noon on a sunny day, the temperature outside my house was -25 degrees C (-13 degrees F) with a strong wind, which would bring the temp. to -40 degrees C (-40 C). I can tell you it is cold.
I will have to wait for June 2005 to see if they are truly perennials.
Franoise.
paghat wrote:

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I think it is really on the edge here. It is usually listed as hardy to zone 5 or 6. Munstead and Hidcote are usually listed as the hardiest lavenders. People grow lavender here quite a bit but they don't expect it to last forever even with mulching. One bad winter and there it goes. There are multiple dangers, winters with too little snow and subzero temperatures, ice or heaving ground. The plants are relatively easy to get and cheap. That is why I was asking about the "superior" since it is more expensive than the regular variety and I was wondering whether I should spring for it or not. Pam's response seems to indicate that I should try it. At any rate, the smaller profile would fit in aesthetically with the roses I have planned and I might be able to incorporate them in the protection I am planning for those.
Thanks all, for all the info!
mm
(mmarteen) wrote:

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'Hidcote Superior' is a refined version of the standard 'Hidcote' lavender. It produces plants that are very compact and uniform in appearance and with a consistant, very dark blue color. This is a new seed strain and true hardiness is not yet fully tested - I've seen reports to zone 5 or 6. You may have even better results since the plant is so compact (12" max height), it presents a much lower profile to the weather. Just make sure drainage is very sharp.
pam - gardengal
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