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Scientific: Lavandula stoechas (Synonym: Lavandula dentata)
Common: French lavender, Spanish lavender, toothed lavender
Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: Spain

Pronounciation: La-van-DO-la sto-EE-kas

Hardiness zones
8, 9, 12-13 (cool season annual), 14-24
USDA 8-11, otherwise as summer annual in zones 1-7

Landscape Use: Cool season flowering accent, edging, herb for aromatic gardens. French lavender attracts bees, butterflies and birds.

Form & Character: Densely mounding and rounded, delicate, gray, recessive, French.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, mostly herbaceous perennial, mounding to 2-feet tall with greater spread.

Foliage/Texture: Opposite, strongly dentate to pinntified, sweetly aromatic, margins entire, lanceolate to linear-oblanceloate, 2.5-inches long by 1/4-inch wide, tomentose nearly silver white when immature to grey green at maturity; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Multiple unbranched spikes to 3.5-inches long, verticillaster (whorled about the spike), 6 to 10 flowered, calyx about 1/4-inch long, 13-nerved, dense pubescent corolla twice as long as calyx, usually violet blue but cultivar dependent; fruits are a small nutlet, inconspicuous.

Seasonal Color: In Phoenix, flowers during the cool season, winter through mid spring.

Temperature: Best below 105oF. Highly susceptible to root rot during the Sonoran Desert's hot humid monsoon weather of July and August, thus not a viable option for summer flower beds. Not as cold hardy as English lavender.

Light: Full sun, except in Phoenix eastern exposures are essential, intolerant of western, afternoon sun during late spring though early autumn.

Soil: Well drained soil best, but tolerant of all but heavy clay. Lightly amend with organic matter, avoid highly organic and amended soils as this will promote a rank and rangy habit of growth.

Watering: Regular, but French lavender will take some drought especially during the cooler season. Withholding a little bit of water keeps this plant 'tight and bushy'.

Pruning: Lightly shear after bloom to promote compact habit.

Propagation: Seed and sometimes soft wood cutting (use a perlite based rooting substrate with fast drainage).

Disease and Pests: Rot root in poorly drained soils.

Additional comments: Like English lavender, French lavender attracts bees and butterflies and is differentiated from L. angustifolia (English lavender) by the presence of distinct leaf marginal dentations. The cultivated variety 'Anouk' has dark plum colored flowers with violet blue bracts than fade to pink as they mature. The cultivate variety ‘Bandera Purple’ has a dwarf and compact habit.

Lavendula contains 39 species of aromatic herbaceous or woody shrubs.