Also known as
Butterfly Lavender, Cassidony, Cast-Me-Down, Sticadoue, Stick-A-Dove, French Lavender, Italian Lavender, Topped Lavender, Wild Lavender
Lavandula stoechas JPG1b by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (CC BY 3.0)
2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a strong fragrance
Lavandula stoechas is also frequently known as Spanish lavender, it is named after the Stoechades Island off the France coast. It was used in Middle Ages as an antiseptic wash and in oil production. This compact, bushy evergreen shrub typically grows to around 60cm tall and 40cm wide, however in optimal conditions, it is capable of reaching 2m in height. It produces linear-shaped, aromatic grey-green foliage with straight edges, which are densely covered in fine hairs. The leaves measure approximately 4cm in length. Flowers are highly scented and attractive, coloured dark purple to a paler grey shade on the petals. They are arranged on a cylindrical flowerhead with a blunt tip and crowned on the top with showy bracts in a lighter shade of purple-pink. They measure up to 2.5cm in length and are borne on short, unbranched stems above the foliage through the summer. The flowers are often used for essential oils, in potpourri and cooking. The species L. angustifolia and L. intermedia over time were found to be superior to L. stoechas and today they are more widely grown for their neat, compact habit and bigger flowers.
Lavandula are natural repellents of many pest species. May be susceptible to Rosemary beetle and froghoppers (cuckoo spit). Lavender is prone to ill-health when watered too much, such as Fusarium root rot, grey mould and leaf spot. Both can be prevented by letting the lavender bush dry out slightly in between watering and/ or by increasing ventilation to the plants. Attack by fungal pathogens is more likely if there is an abundance of water, usually from planting in a poorly draining soil mixture.
Harvest flowers and leaves when needed.
Sow seeds during spring. Sowing depth should be very shallow-only lightly cover with sand. Germination time is on average 7-14 days.
Semi-ripe cuttings may be taken anytime of the year except for winter, summertime is recommended. Remove short 7.5 cm side shoots with a small strip of woody skin attached. Strip away any leaves and insert the cutting into some damp sand.
In high-light areas.
Attracts useful insects
Bees and butterflies love the nectar produced.
essential oils, flavourant
Makes it an exceptionally fragrant landscape plant but not the first choice for use in cooking.