Lavandula stoechas L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Lavandula stoechas' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/lavandula/lavandula-stoechas/). Accessed 2020-10-27.

Genus

Common Names

  • French Lavender

Glossary

corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
endemic
(of a plant or an animal) Found in a native state only within a defined region or country.
inflorescence
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
linear
Strap-shaped.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
spike
Inflorescence in which flowers sessile on the main axis.
subspecies
(subsp.) Taxonomic rank for a group of organisms showing the principal characters of a species but with significant definable morphological differentiation. A subspecies occurs in populations that can occupy a distinct geographical range or habitat.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Lavandula stoechas' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/lavandula/lavandula-stoechas/). Accessed 2020-10-27.

An evergreen shrub 2 to 3 ft high, all of whose vegetative parts are covered with a fine grey down. Leaves stalkless, not toothed, linear, 13 to 114 in. long, 116 to 18 in. wide, the margins recurved. Main flower-stem from 12 to 112 in. long, carrying at the top a spike of closely set blossom 1 to 2 in. long, 12 in. wide. The variously shaped bracts constitute the most conspicuous and beautiful part of the inflorescence, being purple, ovate or rhomboidal, 14 to 34 in. wide, downy, strongly veined. Flowers deeply purple, the small exposed part of the corolla 18 in. wide. The inflorescence has at the top a few enlarged leaflike purple bracts of obovate outline and 12 to 1 in. long.

Native of S.W. Europe, extending eastwards along the Mediterranean region to Greece; also of N. Africa. It flowers in its native haunts from April onwards, but commences later with us. It was in cultivation in the middle 16th century and is mentioned by Turner and Gerard in their Herbals as ‘French lavende’. Its hardiness is about the same as that of L. dentata (q.v.). It is easily distinguished by its very short main flower-stalk and stout spike of flowers crowned with a tuft of large foliaceous bracts (but see also L. pedunculata). The shoots and leaves have a curious somewhat pine-like odour when crushed. It succeeds well on the chalk at Highdown, near Worthing.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

subsp. pedunculata (Mill.) Rozeira Stoechas pedunculata Mill.; L. pedunculata Cav. – See L. pedunculata, page 535. It should however be noted that Flora Europaea recognises three other subspecies in the Iberian Peninsula, all, like subsp. pedunculata, endemic to that area. Also that plants from North Africa, Anatolia, etc, are now also placed under L. stoechas as subspecies. See further in Flora Europaea, Vol. 3, p. 187.


var. leucantha Gingins de Lassaraz

Synonyms
L. s. var. albiflora Bean

A white-flowered variety both as regards bracts and corolla. Messrs Ellman and Sand-with, in June 1925, found a plant growing near Villefranche, in the Eastern Pyrenees, bearing both white and typical purple bracts and flowers.The name ‘stoechas’, once applied genetically to this species and to L. pedunculata, is derived from the Stoechades of the ancients (now the lies d’Hyères). Plants growing there were most highly esteemed for their medicinal virtues.

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