French Lavender Lavandula stoechas

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
French lavender


The plant commonly known as Spanish lavender has a distinctive appearance that sets it apart from other members of the lavender family. Its most striking feature is the flower. The bloom is topped with a tuft of purple bracts that resemble tiny, rabbit-ear-shaped petals. The actual flowers are small, tubular, and a deeper purple color, and they emerge beneath the conspicuous bracts. Spanish lavender has a dense, shrubby form with gray-green, narrow, and lightly furry leaves. The leaves emit a strong, aromatic fragrance when crushed or brushed against, a characteristic trait of this plant. The overall visual effect of Spanish lavender is one of robust color and texture, inviting to both the eye and touch, and especially known for its distinctive, pleasant aroma.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Spanish Lavender, French Lavender, Butterfly Lavender, Stoechas Lavender, Mediterranean Lavender.

    • Common names

      Lavandula pedunculata, Lavandula pedunculata subsp. pedunculata, Stoechas pedunculata, Lavandula viridis, Stoechas viridis, Lavandula stoechas var. pedunculata, Lavandula stoechas subsp. stoechas, Lavandula lusitanica, Lavandula lusitanica var. lusitanica, Lavandula lusitanica subsp. lusitanica, Lavandula lusitania, Lavandula lusitanica var. sampaiana, Lavandula sampaiana, Lavandula stoechas var. lusitanica.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Spanish lavender is generally not considered toxic to humans. However, like many plants, it may cause irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals if they have skin contact or ingest a significant amount. There are no widely known toxic effects from ingesting Spanish lavender, but it is not typically consumed in large quantities due to its strong flavor. Consuming very large amounts could potentially lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or more serious symptoms, so it is always best to enjoy it in moderation and use it as intended, primarily as an aromatic herb for culinary, decorative, or medicinal purposes.

    • To pets

      Spanish lavender is also not generally considered toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. However, it may cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large quantities. Pets may experience vomiting or diarrhea if they consume a significant amount of the plant. It's always a good idea to monitor your pets around plants and prevent them from eating large amounts of any non-food plant material.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (60-90 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Lavandula stoechas, commonly known as French lavender, attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects which are vital for pollination.
    • Aromatic Foliage: The plant is well known for its strong, pleasant scent that can be used to freshen the air around it.
    • Landscape and Garden Design: French lavender is often used in gardens and landscaping for its aesthetic appeal, with its vibrant purple flowers and silvery-green foliage.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, it requires minimal water, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
    • Culinary Uses: The flowers of the French lavender can be used in small quantities to flavor baked goods, jellies, and other dishes.
    • Easy Propagation: Lavandula stoechas can be easily propagated from cuttings or seeds, allowing gardeners to expand their collection.
    • Soil Improvement: As a deep-rooted plant, it can help break up heavy soils and improve soil structure over time.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antimicrobial: Lavender has been observed to possess antimicrobial properties which can be effective against certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant may help reduce inflammation, which can be useful for conditions such as arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.
    • Anxiolytic effects: Often used in aromatherapy, lavender is known for its potential to reduce anxiety and to promote relaxation.
    • Antispasmodic: Lavender can be used to alleviate muscle spasms and cramps.
    • Sedative: It may have soothing properties that can promote sleep and help with insomnia.
    • Analgesic benefits: The plant might offer pain relief for headaches, toothaches, and mild pain.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Lavender Stoechas can be used in cooking as a flavoring for desserts and savory dishes, where its floral and slightly camphorous taste adds a unique note.
    • In perfumery, the essential oil of Lavender is used as a middle note for its aromatic and distinct scent, contributing to the fragrance profile of many perfumes.
    • The dried flowers of Lavender can be used as a natural moth repellent, safeguarding clothing and linens in wardrobes and drawers.
    • Lavender sachets are often placed under pillows or beside the bed to promote relaxation and enhance sleep quality through its soothing scent.
    • The plant can be woven into wreaths or garlands, providing not only visual appeal but also a pleasant aroma for home decoration.
    • Lavender flowers are sometimes included in homemade cleaning products for their scent and mild antibacterial properties, making them a natural additive.
    • Its flowers can be used in the craft of making homemade soaps, giving a natural color and fragrance to the final product.
    • The aromatic properties of Lavender make it a popular choice for making scented candles that can help in creating a calming atmosphere.
    • When used as a natural dye, Lavender can impart gentle shades of blue, grey, and green to fabrics and wool.
    • Gardeners may incorporate Lavender into landscaping as a natural deer repellent due to its strong scent which is undesirable to deer.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Spanish lavender is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Spanish lavender is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Calmness and Serenity: The Spanish Lavender is often associated with tranquility due to its soothing fragrance which is believed to help reduce stress and anxiety.
    • Cleansing and Purity: Historically, its scent and oils have been used for their antiseptic properties, symbolizing the cleansing of the mind, body, and spirit.
    • Devotion and Loyalty: It's a symbol of affection and faithfulness, often used in arrangements to convey one's commitment to a relationship or cause.
    • Healing and Restoration: Due to its medicinal properties, Spanish Lavender represents recovery and the healing of emotional or physical ailments.
    • Elegance and Grace: Its delicate purple blossoms and poised appearance make it a symbol of refinement and elegance.
    • Mysticism and Spirituality: Some believe the plant has a connection to the spiritual realm, representing intuition and the unseen aspects of life.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Spanish lavender needs to be watered deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. In hotter, dryer climates, watering once a week with approximately 0.5 gallons for smaller plants or up to 2 gallons for larger plants is generally sufficient. During cooler months or in naturally moist environments, watering can be reduced to once every two weeks or less, depending on rainfall and soil dryness.

  • sunLight

    Spanish lavender prefers full sun conditions, thriving in an area where it can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunshine daily. The plant is best suited for a south-facing or west-facing spot that receives ample sunlight throughout the day to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spanish lavender enjoys a warm climate and can tolerate a range from about 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ideal temperature for growth between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive light frosts but sustained cold or temperatures below freezing can damage or kill the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Spanish lavender is important to maintain its shape, encourage bushier growth, and prevent woodiness. It's best to prune immediately after the first flowering, typically in late spring or early summer, and again in late summer if a second bloom occurs. Remove up to one-third of the plant but avoid cutting into old wood that may not produce new growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    French Lavender thrives best in well-draining soil with a pH between 6.5 and 8.0. An ideal soil mix can be created by combining two parts sandy or gravelly soil with one part compost or aged manure. Adding additional perlite or vermiculite can enhance drainage, which is crucial as this plant is susceptible to root rot in poorly draining soils.

  • plantRepotting

    French Lavender typically needs repotting every 2-3 years. Repot in spring or early summer when the plant shows signs of being root-bound or when the soil structure degrades, ensuring fresh, fertile, and well-draining conditions for continued growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    French Lavender prefers a dry climate and does well with low to moderate humidity. It is native to the Mediterranean, so mimicking those conditions by keeping the air around it dry, with humidity levels ideally between 40-50%, is beneficial for its health.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place French Lavender by a sunny window and ensure good air flow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-draining soil; water sparingly.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) begins its life cycle with seed germination, typically occurring in warm, well-draining soil in early spring. The seedlings grow into young plants, developing a woody base and green, aromatic foliage. Throughout spring and summer, the plants produce tall flower spikes topped with purple blooms and conspicuous bracts, attracting bees and butterflies. After flowering, the plant sets seeds that are dispersed by wind or animals, enabling propagation. In the perennial phase, French lavender enters a period of dormancy in the fall and winter, where growth slows and the plant survives on stored energy until the next growing season. Pruning is often necessary after flowering to maintain shape and encourage vigorous growth in the following season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The French lavender, scientifically known as Lavandula stoechas, is best propagated through softwood cuttings. This is typically done in late spring or early summer when new growth is soft and pliable. One would cut a 3 to 5 inch (7.5 to 12.7 cm) stem segment just below a node, strip off the lower leaves, and dip the cut end into a rooting hormone. The cutting is then inserted into a moistened mixture of half perlite and half peat or directly into a potting soil and kept under high humidity and indirect light until roots develop. This method enjoys widespread popularity due to its simplicity and high success rate.