When to admire the flowering of lavender in Provence ?
It begins in mid-June in the lowest altitude areas (Rhone Valley, Luberon, Valensole) and continues until the end of July in the highest altitude areas (Plateau d’Albion, Montagne de Lure, Baronnies, Diois)
It varies according to the varieties of lavender and lavandin, the climate, the altitude and the latitude. Local weather is also a determining factor.
The weather, a determining factor in the lavender harvest
The harvest of lavender depends on the hygrometry, that is to say the humidity of the air. Clearly, a long period without rain can advance the harvest by a few days, while a storm can delay it by as much. Do not hesitate to ask the tourist offices of the areas you wish to visit.
From the beginning of May, the stems of lavender and lavandin begin to rise. Then from the beginning of June, the flowering spikes start to appear. The fields gradually take on a dark blue hue.
As temperatures rise, the flower will quickly appear and the plant will produce more essential oil to protect itself from the heat and drought. It’s harvest time. This phase of maturity lasts between 3 to 4 weeks during which we can observe the most beautiful landscapes.
Flowering by geographic area
- From the Drôme-Diois valley to the Haut-Buëch: the flowering of the lavender starts in mid-June around Crest where the harvest often takes place at the beginning of July. In the Haut-Diois and Haut-Buëch, it lasts until the beginning of August. Distillation sometimes continues beyond August 15 in some places (Chamaloc, Valdrôme, La Faurie).
- In Drôme provençale : the flowering of lavandin starts in mid-June, in the plain, in the region of Grignan and Tricastin. It continues until mid-July in the highest sectors (Vinsobres, Roche Saint-Secret).
- From the Baronnies to the Buëch: lavender blooms from the end of June in the Buëch valley and from the beginning of July in the highest sectors (Laborel, Mévouillon). Harvesting can take place until the beginning of August. And the distillation, according to the methods, until the end of August. It is also a region where you can see the 100% manual harvesting of the bouquets.
- Between Ventoux, Luberon and Lure: the flowering starts in mid-June around Apt. It continues until the end of July in the country of Forcalquier and on the plateau of Albion. We harvest and distill from mid-July.
- From the Plateau de Valensole to the Pays dignois : the flowering starts in mid-June around Valensole. It continues until the beginning of August in the Dignois country or the Haut-Verdon.
- Préalpes d’Azur and Pays Grasse : in this sector, the cradle of production in Provence, we find essentially wild lavender (except for the Caussol plateau). From the end of June, the mountain sides are adorned with a deep blue color. Little picked nowadays, this lavender remains visible quite a long time.
You travel to Provence outside these periods?
The absence of lavender in flower can be a disappointment… Producers, processors, museums and other enthusiasts will still welcome you with pleasure to share their secrets and offer you original experiences around the little blue flower.
It is also an opportunity to discover the thousand other riches of Provence: landscapes, local products, traditional festivals… in short, to enjoy, in all simplicity!