Lavender Field Day

Lavender grown in TasmaniaTasmania is poised to take advantage of lavender woes in France. A lavender trial crop in the Central Highlands points to a bold new cash crop for local land-owners. Essential Oils of Tasmania research field agronomist Sam Smee said Tasmania offered the right mix of conditions to produce high-grade lavender oil.

“Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) requires a cold winter to set the flowers, followed by a warm, sunny summer to allow for maximum oil accumulation,” Mr Smee said.

“Tasmania’s climate is ideal for production of high-quality lavender oil.” Essential Oils is holding a lavender field day at its trial plot at Montfort at Hamilton on Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm.

“Lavender can tolerate fairly poor, stony soil, and can often be grown on the under-utilised hill slopes common in Tasmania,” Mr Smee said. “Growers can potentially get a good return for what has traditionally been marginal land for agriculture.”

France’s ability to produce high-quality lavender oil for a range of perfumes and toiletries has suffered some recent setbacks. “In part due to climate change in the traditional growing regions of France, but also the recent emergence of a serious disease that has severely reduced production,” Mr Smee said.

Landowners interested in attending the field day can email [email protected]

Copyright © 2011 Roger Hanson, The Mercury.

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