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LAVANDULA stoechas

Image of Lavandula stoechas

Jessie Keith

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

LAVANDULA stoechas

Plant Common Name

French Lavender, Spanish Lavender

General Description

Fragrant and beautiful, French lavender is a fine shrubby garden perennial for hot and dry locations. It originates from regions across the Mediterranean and was first cultivated by the Romans who used its fragrant oils for scent. This species is favored as an ornamental in hot and dry regions because it shines under tough conditions. It grows as a mounded evergreen perennial or subshrub and can become quite large with age. Fine, fragrant leaves of silvery gray-green cover this lavender all year around. In drier weather the leaves become more linear and needle-like. In late spring to midsummer it produces many slender, upright stems topped with oval spikes of densely clustered dark purple flowers topped with showy plumes of brighter purple bracts. Lavender, pink and white-flowered varieties are also available. The flowers are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Remove the spent blooms to keep plants looking clean and encourage more flowers to appear.

French lavender is easy to grow if provided full sun and average to poor soil with excellent drainage. It is technically a subshrub, which means it behaves like a perennial but develops woody stems over time. Light pruning in spring or fall will allow a fresh flush of herbaceous growth to arise and keep plants looking attractive. This lavender has few pest or disease problems but can suffer from root or crown rot if planted in poorly drained soils or subjected to unusually wet winter weather.

The foliage and flowers of French lavender can be used in perfumes and potpourri, so it is ideal for cutting and herb gardens. Sunny containers and perennial borders are also ideal for this bee and butterfly magnet.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    24"-28" / 61.0cm - 71.1cm

  • Width

    24"-24" / 61.0cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Blue Violet, Plum

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Sea Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Sea Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Sea Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray

  • Bark Color

    Gray Green, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower / Everlasting, Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes