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New plants: Lavender Sensational!®

This outstanding and robust new lavender takes strides forwards in foliage, flower power, season and habit

New varieties of lavender are being developed all over the word, from Cambridgeshire to Australia. With some it’s the foliage that’s important; in others it’s the flowers. For some a very dwarf habit is the aim, and new varieties are also being developed for lavender oil production.

Lavandula x intermedia Sensational!® (‘Tesseract’) takes us a step forward in four different ways, with improvements in foliage, flower power and flowering season, and in growth habit. 

This outstanding lavender is more robust than other lavender varieties, the foliage is more brightly silvered, the flower spikes longer and the whole plant is more robust than other lavenders.

What’s so special about Sensational!® lavender?

The key features of Sensational!® are its compact and robust growth, its broad and exceptionally well silvered foliage, its long- and strong-stemmed flower spikes and the rich colouring and long season of its flowers.

The neater growth of Sensational!®, compared with the well-known Phenomenal, from which it was developed, is a big plus point. The broad, silver foliage matures into a compact, upright plant about 36cm (14in) in height. The flowering stems reach about 60cm (2ft) on a mature plant, and the plant bushes out to about 60cm across.

The stems are thicker and stronger than the stems of other lavenders and resist bending. This enormously improves the look of both flowering plants and of stems cut in bouquets. In addition to the 11cm spikes of rich violet purple flowers at the top of the stems from May or June to September, smaller flower heads develop in the leaf joints lower down.

Where did Sensational!® come from?

Sensational!® was originally spotted in 2015 as a sport (a branch mutation) on a plant of Lavandula × intermedia Phenomenal (‘Niko’) growing in a greenhouse on a nursery in Pennsylvania, by Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farms and his breeding partner Rick Grazzini.

Growing Sensational!®

Sensational!® develops a powerful presence in any sunny, well-drained situation. It’s ideal for Mediterranean gardens, drought gardens, and any hot and dry situation, and also thrives in containers.
Pruning is simple – simply clip over the plant in April, taking care not to cut into old growth.

Where can I buy Sensational!® lavender?

You can buy Lavandula x intermedia Sensational!® (‘Tesseract’) from the Fairweather Plant Shop and Gardening Express, as well as some garden centres.

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