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  • Section: Herbalism /Monday 26th January 2015

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    * Lavandula stoechas *

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    (Wikipedia) - Lavandula stoechas Lavandula stoechas Scientific classification Binomial name
    Lavandula stoechas flowers
    Kingdom: Plantae
    (unranked): Angiosperms
    (unranked): Eudicots
    (unranked): Asterids
    Order: Lamiales
    Family: Lamiaceae
    Genus: Lavandula
    Species: L. stoechas
    Lavandula stoechas L.

    Lavandula stoechas (French lavender, Spanish lavender, or topped lavender) is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, occurring naturally in Mediterranean countries.

    Contents

    Description

    An evergreen shrub, it usually grows to 30–100 cm (12–39 in)30–100 cm tall and wide, occasionally up to 2 m (7 ft) high in the subspecies luisieri. The leaves are 1–4 cm long, greyish and tomentose.

    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).

    Subspecies

    The recognised subspecies are:

    Cultivation

    This species is more fragile than common lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), as it is less winter hardy; 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.

    Selected forms are grown as ornamental plants. The cultivar ''Willow Vale'' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society''s Award of Garden Merit.

    Other uses

    L. stoechas is used commercially in air fresheners and insecticides. Flower spikes have been used internally for headaches, irritability, feverish colds and nausea, and externally for wounds, rheumatic pain and as an insect repellent.

    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.

    Tags:Atlantic, Australia, French, Italy, Lavandula, Lavandula stoechas, Mediterranean, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Wikipedia


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