Stone Rise Farm - Growers & Distillers of pure essential oils & hydrosols
A view of the lavender field
  • The Plants

  • Immortelle
  • The common names of "Immortelle", "Everlasting" and "Curry Plant" encompass many different plants. The particular one we grow and distil is Helichrysum italicum serotinum, the Immortelle found on Corsica. It is an extremely low-yielding plant for essential oil. We currently have 55 plants in the ground, and they are not enough to produce a saleable quantity of essential oil. We do currently produce at least 5 Litres of oil-rich hydrosol per annum though.
  • Have a read of our Facebook note regarding the maiden distillation of our Immortelle hydrosol; it includes information about the aromatics and empirical evidence of the medicinal properties. Interestingly, while the oil is prized for italidiones, according to Mark Webb of Aromamedix it's the curcumenes in the hydrosol which give the properties referred to in the note.

  • Lavender & Lavandin
  • Have you ever wondered (like we did) how different cultivars of Lavender and Lavandin came to be? It is a process of botanical "selection", whereby at some point in history a person had inter-bred different plants until they happened upon a combination that appealed to them. This "new" plant was then said to be "selected" and was propagated from then on, usually by cuttings, to keep that cultivar true-to-type with the originally selected plant.
  • The people who performed this activity were usually doing it out of love for the plants and horticulture in general. They may also have been searching for their own place in history, and acknowledgement of their efforts can only persist through knowledge of the historical provenance of these plants. It is as fascinating to us to know where these cultivars came from, as it is to acknowledge those who "made" them. On this page is the entirety of information we can find on the historical provenance of our plants. As we discover more, this page will be updated.
  • With the exception of Lavandula angustifolia 'Bee', the following excerpts are gratefully acknowledged and reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher and author of:

    Botanical Magazine Monograph: The Genus Lavandula by Tim Upson and Susyn Andrews (Kew Publishing, 2004). It is available at Kewbooks.com.

  • Lavandula angustifolia 'Avice Hill'
  • Pages 126-127: "'Avice Hill'...
  • ...Aroma sweet and fragrant.
  • This was raised by Avice Hill in 1980 from open pollinated seed of her authentic 'Munstead' and named after her by fellow New Zealander Virginia McNaughton in 1994. However it was not sold until 1997."

  • Lavandula angustifolia 'Bee'
  • Little if anything is known about the provenance of this cultivar. Larkman Nurseries have been propagating it true-to-type from parent stock since before our involvement in the Lavender industry in 2007.

  • Lavandula angustifolia 'Maillette'
  • Page 145: "'Maillette'...
  • ...Aroma strongly fragrant.
  • Monsieur Maillet was a respected small farmer from the Valensole, who had 'judged oils derived from plants which he had selected continuously for the last thirty years' (Paulet, 1959). It is highly probable that 'Maillette' was one of his own selections and not from Pierre Grosso as stated by Tucker (1985). It appeared to be quite widely planted in the 1950s."

  • Lavandula angustifolia 'Swampy'
  • Page 136: "'Swampy' bred by Neil Chasemore of Mt Clear, Ballarat, was introduced to the trade by the Larkman Nurseries, Lilydale, Victoria in 1999. It was called 'Swampy' after Neil's farm Long Swamp Lavender."

  • Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'
  • Page 189: "'Grosso'...
  • ...Aroma very pungent.
  • 'Grosso' was discovered about 1972 in the Vaucluse district by M. Pierre Grosso (1905-1989) a local farmer from Goult, a little village near Apt, who hasd been growing lavandin since 1931. He found some sturdy lavandin plants in the middle of deserted fields, made some cuttings and then planted them out on his own land."

  • Lavandula x intermedia 'Seal'
  • Page 197: "'Seal'...
  • ...Aroma soft and pleasant.
  • This field variety was selected by Miss D.G. Hewer (q.v.) of The Herb Farm, Seal in Kent from the village of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, sometime before 1935. RBG Kew was sent herbarium material of 'Seal' ex Miss Hewer in 1935."

  • Lavandula x intermedia 'Sumian'
  • Page 199: "Sumian...
  • ...Aroma softly pungent.
  • 'Sumian' is a French field variety which was grown before 1992."

  • Myrtle
  • Myrtle has much confused information available. True Myrtle (Myrtus communis) is another native of the Mediterranean. There seem to be two kinds of Myrtle grown and distilled for essential oil: Green Myrtle and Red Myrtle. We are researching the situation and will release a discussion paper PDF here. We will announce its avaiability on our Facebook Page.

  • Rosemary (Victorian)
  • Rosmarinus officinalis is again a native of the Mediterranean. The particular variety we grow and distil is called Rosmarinus officinalis 'Herb Cottage'. There seems to be very little known of this cultivar; we can only find one reference to its provenance, which seems to suggest it originated at the Cathedral Herb Garden in Washington, D.C., USA. Wether or not it was actually bred there is a matter of conjecture; it may not even be the same plant that we have. To date, what we DO know about the variety we have is its unique chemical profile.
  • Previous to our distillations, there were three commonly known chemotypes* of Rosmarinus officinalis:
    1. CT 1,8-cineole
    2. CT camphor
    3. CT verbenone
  • After GC/MS testing of our essential oil in 2014, it was determined that the predominant compound was α-pinene. Although it had been previously referred to in aromatherapy, it had not been seen available on the marketplace. Thus, this cultivar now forms a fourth chemotype for Rosmarinus officinalis: CT α-pinene. As of the second half of 2016, we will have a total of 660 plants in the ground, to expand our output of this unique essential oil.
  • * Chemotype (CT): the predominant chemical compound within an essential oil, or the one of most interest. Please see a detailed definition here.
  • Rosemary (Tasmanian)
  • We've established a relationship with a grower in Tasmania who grows exactly the same Rosemary we do (Rosmarinus officinalis var. 'Herb Cottage' chemotype α-pinene), the plants having been sourced from the same nursery we use and grown according to the principles of organic farming. This variant is itself rather unique however; as can be seen from the GC/MS Report, it still has the correct relative percentages of components that make the α-pinene chemotype so aromatically light and airy. The interesting aspect of this variant is it's higher percentage of verbenone. Both our variant and this Tasmanian variant are very low in camphor. Aromatically, the difference between the two variants is small but noticeable (if you have the two for a side-by-side comparison), but when they develop, after 30 minutes they become virtually indistinguishable.
  • The aromatic variances can be put down to the differences in the relative percentages of the verbenone and minor compounds. These in turn can be put down to epigenetic and harvest factors, as both the plant source and distillation parameters are identical between the two variants. We can ensure identical distillation parameters, because WE do the the distilling back here, on-farm at Stone Rise Farm in Central Victoria. All in all, yet another rare and exclusive oil that we are making available to you.

Growers & Distillers of pure essential oils & hydrosols: Lavender, Lavandin, Rosemary, Myrtle & Immortelle