Lavandula stoechas

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Lavandula stoechas
Topped lavendar flowerhead.jpg
Lavandula stoechas flowers
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Lavandula
L. stoechas
Binomial name
Lavandula stoechas

Lavandula stoechas, the Spanish lavender or topped lavender (U.S.) or French lavender (U.K.), [1] is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, occurring natively in several Mediterranean countries, including France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. [2]



It is an evergreen shrub that usually grows to between 30 and 100 cm tall and occasionally up to 2 m (6.5 ft) tall in the subspecies L. stoechas subsp. luisieri. Its leaves are 1–4 cm long, greyish and tomentose. The inflorescence is crowned by a mass of purple elongated ovoid bracts about 5 cm long. Lower flowers form a tight rectangle in cross-section. The upper of the five teeth has a wrong-heart-shaped appendage. The crown is blackish-violet, up to 8 mm long and indistinct two-lipped.

The flowers, which appear in late spring and early summer, are pink to purple, produced on spikes 2 cm long at the top of slender, leafless stems 10–30 cm (4–12 in) long; each flower is subtended by a bract 4–8 mm long. At the top of the spike are a number of much larger, sterile bracts (no flowers between them), 10–50 mm long and bright lavender purple (rarely white). It blooms in spring and early summer, from the month of March in its native habitat, depending on the climate in which it grows. [3]

The Latin specific epithet stoechas comes from the Greek stoichas meaning “in rows”. It is also the Greek name for this species. [4]


The recognised subspecies are:


This species is more tender than common lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ), being less frost-resistant, 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. Hardy down to −10 °C (14 °F) [1] (USDA zones 8–10).

The following cultivars have won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:- [6]

Other uses

The flowers are used in aromatherapy to prepare infusions and essential oils that contain ketones (d-camphor and d-fenchone) and alcohols (borneol and terpineol). [10]

Invasive species

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. [11]

Related Research Articles

<i>Lavandula</i> Genus of plants

Lavandula is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and is found in Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, and from Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to India.

<i>Alstroemeria</i> Genus of flowering plants native to South America

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<i>Digitalis purpurea</i> Toxic flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae

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<i>Primula vulgaris</i> Species of plant

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<i>Cornus kousa</i> Species of small deciduous tree commonly known as kousa dogwood

Cornus kousa is a small deciduous tree 8–12 m (26–39 ft) tall, in the flowering plant family Cornaceae. Common names include kousa, kousa dogwood, Chinese dogwood, Korean dogwood, and Japanese dogwood. Synonyms are Benthamia kousa and Cynoxylon kousa. It is a plant native to East Asia including Korea, China and Japan. Widely cultivated as an ornamental, it is naturalized in New York State.

<i>Lobularia maritima</i> Species of flowering plant

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<i>Catananche caerulea</i> Species of flowering plant

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<i>Lavandula angustifolia</i> Species of plant

Lavandula angustifolia, formerly L. officinalis, is a flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean. Its common names include lavender, true lavender or English lavender ; also garden lavender, common lavender, and narrow-leaved lavender.

<i>Vinca major</i> Species of vine

Vinca major, with the common names bigleaf periwinkle, large periwinkle, greater periwinkle and blue periwinkle, is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae, native to the western Mediterranean. Growing to 25 cm (10 in) tall and spreading indefinitely, it is an evergreen perennial, frequently used in cultivation as groundcover.

<i>Acacia dealbata</i> Species of flowering plant

Acacia dealbata, the silver wattle, blue wattle or mimosa, is a species of flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae, native to southeastern Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory and widely introduced in Mediterranean, warm temperate, and highland tropical landscapes.

<i>Phlox divaricata</i> Species of flowering plant

Phlox divaricata, the wild blue phlox, woodland phlox, or wild sweet william, is a species of flowering plant in the family Polemoniaceae, native to forests and fields in eastern North America.

<i>Iris pallida</i> Species of flowering plant

Iris pallida, the Dalmatian iris or sweet iris, is a hardy flowering perennial plant of the genus Iris, family Iridaceae. It is native to the Dalmatian coast (Croatia) but widely naturalised elsewhere. It is a member of the subgenus Iris, meaning that it is a bearded iris, and grows from a rhizome.

<i>Eucomis autumnalis</i> Species of flowering plant

Eucomis autumnalis, the autumn pineapple flower, or autumn pineapple lily, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae, native to Malawi, Zimbabwe and southern Africa. It is a mid to late summer flowering deciduous bulbous perennial. The flower stem reaches about 40 cm (16 in), rising from a basal rosette of wavy-edged leaves. The green, yellow or white flowers are arranged in a spike (raceme), topped by a "head" of green leaflike bracts. It is grown as an ornamental garden plant and can also be used as a cut flower.

<i>Trillium albidum</i> Species of flowering plant

Trillium albidum is a species of flowering plant in the bunchflower family Melanthiaceae. It is the only trillium characterized by a stalkless white flower. The species is endemic to the western United States, ranging from central California through Oregon to southwestern Washington. In the San Francisco Bay Area, it is often confused with a white-flowered form of Trillium chloropetalum. In northern Oregon and southwestern Washington, it has a smaller, less conspicuous flower.

<i>Dactylorhiza elata</i> Species of flowering plant in the orchid family Orchidaceae

Dactylorhiza elata, the robust marsh orchid, is a species of flowering plant in the family Orchidaceae, native to the western Mediterranean region.

<i>Lavandula dentata</i> Species of flowering plant

Lavandula dentata, Lavanda de la brecha (Spain), fringed lavender or French lavender, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic islands and the Arabian peninsula. Growing to 60 cm (24 in) tall, it has gray-green, linear or lance-shaped leaves with toothed edges and a lightly woolly texture. The long-lasting, narrow spikes of purple flowers, topped with pale violet bracts, first appear in late spring. The whole plant is strongly aromatic with the typical lavender fragrance.

<i>Lavandula lanata</i> Species of plant in the family Lamiaceae

Lavandula lanata, the woolly lavender, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to southern Spain. An evergreen dwarf shrub growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall and broad, it is noted for the pronounced silver woolly hairs on its leaves, whence the Latin specific epithet lanata. The deep violet purple flowers are borne on narrow spikes, and give off the familiar lavender scent.

<i>Lavandula pedunculata</i> Species of plant

Lavandula pedunculata, commonly called French lavender, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is known for its butterfly-like, narrow petals that emerge from the top of its narrow stalk. L. pedunculata is native to Iberia, Morocco and western Turkey.

<i>Eucomis pallidiflora</i> Species of flowering plant

Eucomis pallidiflora, the giant pineapple lily, is a bulbous species of flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae, native to southern Africa. The white to green flowers appear in summer and are arranged in a spike (raceme), topped by a "head" of green leaflike bracts. Some forms reach almost 2 m when in flower. The species is cultivated as an ornamental plant, although it is not hardy in areas where severe frosts occur.

<i>Lavandula viridis</i> Species of flowering plant

Lavandula viridis, commonly known as green lavender or white lavender, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, occurring naturally in southern Portugal and southwest Spain.


  1. 1 2 RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN   978-1405332965.
  2. Dankwart Seidel: Flowers on the Mediterranean. Determine without fail with the 3-check . BLV, Munich 2002, ISBN   3-405-16294-7
  3. 1 2 3 Upson and Andrews; The Genus Lavandula
  4. Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN   978-1845337315.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Upson, Tim (2004) [1st pub. 2002]. "Chapter 2: The taxonomy of the genus Lavendula L.". In Lis-Balchin, Maria (ed.). Lavender: The genus Lavendula. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN   0-203-21652-0.
  6. "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 59. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  7. "Lavandula 'Ballerina'". RHS. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  8. "Lavandula 'Pretty Polly'". RHS. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  9. "RHS Plant Selector - Lavandula 'Willow Vale'" . Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  10. Bown, Deni (2002). The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses (Revised ed.). DK. p. 257. ISBN   1-4053-0059-0.
  11. Csurches S., Edwards R.; National Weeds Program, Potential Environmental Weeds in Australia, Candidate Species for Preventative Control; Queensland Department of Natural Resources. January 1998 ISBN   0-642-21409-3