Syn.: Stoechas officinarum Mill.
Family: Lamiaceae Martinov

Lavandula stoechas

Distribution: Mediterranean species, it occurs also on the islands of Macaronesia, was introduced to Australia and New Zealand. The species is variable, several subspecies are recognized.

Ecology: It grows in dry and sunny habitats, on bushy hillsides, garrigue, macchia, margins of pine forests. It flowers from February to June.

Lavandula stoechas

Description: Shrub, 30–60(–100) cm tall, usually grey-tomentose. Stem densely leafy, leaves linear to oblong-lanceolate, entire, revolute, 1–4 cm long. Spike usually 2–3 cm; bracts differing distinctly from the leaves, fertile bracts 4–8 mm, rhombic-cordate, tomentose, upper bracts 10–50 mm, oblong-obovate, usually purple, verticillasters 6- to 10-flowered; calyx 4–6 mm, corolla 2-lipped, 6–8 mm, usually dark purple, upper lip 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed. The fruit is composed of 4 nutlets.

Use: The French Lavender is grown in gardens as an ornamental plant, especially in southern Europe. It is used as an antiseptic in the treatment of wounds. Aromatic oil from the plant is added to bath water.

Lavandula stoechasLavandula stoechas
Lavandula stoechas

These images were taken in Cyprus, Lefkara (March 27, 2010) and Lemesos Forest (March 28, 2010).