French Lavender Plant Information
French Lavender grows in the following 1 states:California
Lavandula stoechas (French lavender, Spanish lavender, or topped lavender) is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, occurring naturally in Mediterranean countries.
An evergreen shrub, it usually grows to 30-100cm (12-39in) tall and occasionally up to 2m (7ft) high in the subspecies luisieri. The leaves are 1-4cm long, greyish and tomentose.
The flowers, which appear in late spring and early summer, are pink to purple, produced on spikes 2cm long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10-30cm (4-12in) long; each flower is subtended by a bract 4-8mm long. At the top of the spike are a number of much larger, sterile bracts (no flowers between them), 10-50mm long and bright lavender purple (rarely white).
The recognised subspecies are:
This species is more fragile than common lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), as it is less winter hardy; but harsher and more resinous in its oils. Like other lavenders, it is associated with hot, dry, sunny conditions in alkaline soils. However, it tolerates a range of situations, though it may be short-lived.
Selected forms are grown as ornamental plants. The cultivar 'Willow Vale' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
L. stoechas is used commercially in air fresheners and insecticides. Flower spikes have been used internally for headaches, irritability, feverish colds and nausea, and externally for wounds, rheumatic pain and as an insect repellent.
Since its introduction into Australia, it has become an invasive species, widely distributed within the continent. It has been declared a noxious weed in Victoria since 1920. It also is regarded as a weed in parts of Spain.
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