Lavender is a beautiful plant of the color blue with a delightful fragrance. The linen closets of grandmothers on Hvar had the distinct scent of this flower and when denim sheets were laid out everyone felt like they were in a fragrance heaven.
It is interesting to note that lavender, although native to the Mediterranean region, first reached Hvar in the 1920s. The first lavender shrub was planted in 1928 – it was a shrub of Lavendin, a hybrid of lavender called Budrovka (Lavandula Hybrida Reverchon II). In 1947, it was planted on about 30 hectares of rocky terrain and produced about 500 kilos of oil. In the 1960s, its cultivation was increasing intensively and about 600 hectares were covered with shrubs that produced 20 tons of oil. The golden era of the lavender of Hvar lasted for about twenty years.
With the development of tourism and olive-growing people began losing interest in growing lavender. Furthermore, three large-scale fires destroyed most of the lavender fields, leaving only 80 hectares of rocky terrain covered with lavender today, with an annual production of between 3 and 5 tons of oil.
The lavendin from the island of Hvar is rich in essential oil which is easily recognized. The oil is a good pain-reliever, eases sciatica, gout, rheumatic and muscle pain. It is one of those rare oils that can be applied directly onto the skin and that helps replenish it. The oil is used as an antiseptic, a bactericide and a disinfectant. It helps people with pulmonary diseases and allergies, but also wards off moths and mosquitoes. Hence, when in Jelsa, do not forget to buy some dried lavender bags for your closets and bottles of this precious oil of the island of Hvar on street stands from autochthonous producers!