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Common Name: French Lavender
Lavandula stoechas is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Dry hills, garigue and open woods on limestone and granite soils[
Succeeds in almost any soil so long as it is well-drained and not too acid[
]. Prefers a sunny position in a neutral to alkaline soil[
], growing well on chalk[
]. When grown in rich soils the plants tend to produce more leaves but less essential oils[
]. Grows well in a hot dry position[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. When growing for maximum essential oil content, the plant must be given a very warm sunny position and will do best in a light sandy soil, the fragrance being especially pronounced in a chalky soil[
Hardy to between -5 and -10°c[
], it is often killed in severe winters in Britain[
Plants are not very long-lived and soon become straggly unless pruned. Any trimming of the plant is best done in spring and should not be done in the autumn since this can encourage new growth that will not be very cold-hardy[
A good bee plant, also attracting butterflies and moths[
]. The flowering spike has showy infertile flowers to attract insects at the top of the stem and small fertile flowers beneath[
A good companion for most plants[
], growing well with cabbages[
French lavender has similar medicinal properties to common lavender (L. angustifolia). It yields more essential oil than that species but is of inferior quality[
The flowers, and the essential oil derived from them, are antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive and expectorant[
]. It is used internally to alleviate nausea[
]. Externally, the essential oil is used as an antiseptic wash for wounds, ulcers, sores etc and as a relaxing oil for massage[
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers - used in soap making, perfumery, medicinally etc[
]. The essential oil is an effective inhibitor of hydrochloric acid corrosion when coated over steel[
]. When growing the plant for its essential oil content, it is best to harvest the flowering stems as soon as the flowers have faded[
The aromatic leaves and flowers are used in pot-pourri, as an insect repellent in the linen cupboard etc[
]. They are also used as a strewing herb in churches etc[
The flowering stems, once the flowers have been removed for use in pot-pourri etc, can be tied in small bundles and burnt as incense sticks[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed[
]. It usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood 7 - 10cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame. Usually very east, a high percentage will root within a few weeks[
]. Grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings 7cm with a heel succeed at almost any time of the year[