Common Name: Twickel (or 'Twickes' or 'Twinkle')
Purple Lavender. Also called 'Nana Compacta' or 'Compacta' by some
(both of these are often sold in North America as Munstead, which
is actually another variety)
Scientific Name: Lavandula agustifolia 'Twickel
Flower Description: Stems, spikes 6 to 12 inches
long with tapered flower heads. Spikes grow in a fan shape on
the Twickel Purple lavender. Flowers are usually one inch
and much longer than wide. On average they also have 6 to 10
whorls of flower buds along the stem below the flower heads. Half-inch-long
trumpet-like corollas bloom out from calyxes of each bud. Calyx
appears as brownish or greenish tissue enveloping the bottom of
each corolla. Corollas open at random not all together. The blooms are deep mauve.
Bloom Period: Once in June in most zones; mid- to
late May through to early June in Zone 7.
Plant description: Small
shrub, 2 to 3 feet in height and width. Foliage forms dome-like
shape. If uncut branches may fall away from each other and leave
plant open-looking. Because of this, all English lavenders are
typically sheared to a tighter, denser version than they would naturally
assume. Leaves narrow, lance-shaped and up to 2 inches
long. Grey-green foliage.
Hardiness and Planting Range: Most cold- resistant
of all lavenders. Hardy from Zone 5 (lows of -20 to -10 degrees
F) to Zone 11. Can even be grown below USDA Zone 5, if micro-climate
is right. Low of -25 degrees F is the cold weather limit.
Culinary use: The most sweetly scented and flavored lavenders
are the English varieties, inlcuding Twickel Purple.. Can
be used in all recipes calling for either flowers or foliage.
Great in ice cream, sorbets, baked desserts, and candied flower
Comments: Grouped with what are known as the "hardy,"
"English," or "true" lavenders. Called "English" lavenders
due to their adaptation to life in the cold climate of England.
They were not resistant to a fungal disease known as shab
that swept through the English crop in the 1960s, however. These English
varieties are a primary source for perfume. They have insecticidal
uses against aphids and repel cockroaches. The Twickel Purple variety is from Twickel castle in Holland. It is one of the oldest