French Lavender Lavandula stoechas subsp. stoechas f. leucantha

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
white-flowered French lavender


The plant, commonly known as French lavender, boasts a unique and striking appearance characterized by its vibrant purple flowers. These blooms are distinguished by their butterfly-like petals that perch at the top, giving them a whimsical and ornamental look. The petals are actually sterile bracts that have a brighter and lighter color than the true flowers tucked beneath them. This contrast creates a layered visual effect of vibrant purples and softer shades that add depth to the flower spikes. The foliage of French lavender adds to its ornamental appeal, with leaves that are typically grey-green, slender, and densely arranged along the stems. The leaves may have a slightly fuzzy or woolly texture, which lends a softness to the plant's overall aesthetic. As for the flower formation, the true flowers are small and tubular, often nestled snugly within the protective bracts, attracting pollinators with both their color and their fragrance. This plant exudes a strong, aromatic scent that is quintessentially lavender, known to be calming and pleasant. Overall, French lavender is a plant that captivates with both its visual charm and its fragrance, making it a favorite in gardens and landscaping where it can be appreciated up close. It is widely appreciated not just for its beauty but also for its uses in perfumes, oils, and culinary applications.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      French Lavender, Spanish Lavender, Butterfly Lavender, Topped Lavender

    • Common names

      Lavandula stoechas f. leucantha, Lavandula stoechas var. leucantha.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      French Lavender, the common name for Lavandula stoechas, is not typically considered toxic to humans when used in the appropriate manner, such as for culinary or aromatic purposes in small amounts. However, consuming large quantities of any part of the plant, especially the essential oil, can potentially cause harmful effects. Ingestion of large amounts can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and central nervous system effects like drowsiness and muscle weakness. Continuous extensive skin contact with the oil may cause irritation in some individuals. As with any plant or herbal product, it's essential to use French Lavender responsibly and consult a healthcare professional before using it for medicinal purposes.

    • To pets

      French Lavender is considered to be of low toxicity to pets, but that doesn't mean it is completely safe. It can still be mildly toxic, especially if a pet ingests a large amount of the plant. Symptoms of French Lavender poisoning in pets could include mild gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea, and potentially more serious symptoms if a large amount of essential oil is ingested, including lethargy, weakness, and incoordination. As with any potential toxin, if you suspect your pet has ingested a large amount of French Lavender, contact your veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aromatic: French Lavender emits a pleasant and soothing fragrance that is often used in perfumes, sachets, and aromatherapy.
    • Decorative: Its striking white flowers and silvery-green foliage make French Lavender an attractive plant for gardens and pots.
    • Drought Tolerant: This variety of lavender is particularly resilient to dry conditions, requiring minimal watering once established.
    • Pollinator Attraction: French Lavender attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, supporting biodiversities.
    • Culinary Use: The flowers of French Lavender can be used to infuse desserts, jellies, and beverages with its distinctive flavor.
    • Landscape Design: The plant is a popular choice for borders, rockeries, and as a low hedge due to its robust growth and form.
    • Easy to Propagate: It can be easily propagated from cuttings, making it simple for gardeners to expand their collection or share with others.
    • Low Maintenance: French Lavender is generally pest-resistant and doesn't require much upkeep, which is ideal for beginner gardeners.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antimicrobial: Lavandula stoechas, commonly known as Spanish Lavender, has shown to possess antimicrobial properties against a range of microorganisms.
    • Antioxidant: The plant contains phenolic compounds that contribute to its antioxidant activities.
    • Anxiolytic: Spanish Lavender has been used traditionally to alleviate stress and anxiety.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The essential oil from Spanish Lavender may offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
    • Analgesic: It is believed to help in pain relief for minor aches and pains.
    • Antispasmodic: The plant has been used to help with muscle spasms and cramps.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Lavender sachets: The dried flowers of French Lavender can be used to make sachets that impart a fresh scent to linens and clothing in drawers.
    • Moth repellent: The natural aroma of French Lavender is known to deter moths, making these plants useful in wardrobes to protect woolen items.
    • Flavoring agent: French Lavender can be used in small quantities to add a unique floral flavor to baked goods, jams, and jellies.
    • Aroma therapy: The essential oil from French Lavender is utilized in diffusers for a relaxing and calming environment in homes or offices.
    • Natural dye: The flowers of French Lavender can be used to create a natural dye for fabrics or crafts, producing a soft purple hue.
    • Garden design: With its distinct shape and color, French Lavender is used in landscape design to add structure and visual interest to gardens.
    • Companion planting: French Lavender can be used as a companion plant in vegetable gardens to help repel insects and attract pollinators.
    • Eco-friendly confetti: Dried French Lavender buds can be used as biodegradable confetti for weddings or celebrations, offering a fragrant alternative to traditional paper confetti.
    • Craft material: The sturdy stems of French Lavender can be used in craft projects such as wreaths, floral arrangements, or homemade potpourri.
    • Culinary decoration: Fresh sprigs of French Lavender can be used as a decorative and edible garnish on desserts like cakes, custards, and sorbets.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Spanish Lavender can be used in Feng Shui for purifying the air and promoting a sense of calm and tranquility. Its aromatic properties are believed to soothe and calm the mind, hence it is suitable for placement in areas dedicated to relaxation, such as a bedroom or a meditation space. The plant's beautiful purple flowers also add a touch of vibrant energy and can stimulate the wealth area when placed in the southeast corner of a home or garden.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Spanish Lavender is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Purity: The white flowers of Lavandula stoechas subsp. stoechas f. leucantha, commonly known as French Lavender, symbolize cleanliness and innocence.
    • Calmness: French Lavender is often associated with tranquility and the ability to soothe the mind due to its relaxing scent.
    • Healing: Historically, lavender has been used for its medicinal properties, and as such, it represents healing and restoration.
    • Devotion: Lavender is sometimes tied to the theme of loyalty and devotion, reflective of its perennial nature and long-lasting blooms.
    • Silence: With its ability to create a quiet atmosphere, lavender can symbolize silence and peace.

Every 1-2 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Spanish lavender should be watered deeply but infrequently, as it is drought-tolerant once established. Typically, watering once every two weeks during the growing season is sufficient, which equates to approximately 1 to 1.5 gallons for an established plant, depending on soil type and climate. It's crucial to ensure the soil has good drainage to prevent root rot. In hotter, dryer climates, you may need to water more frequently, but always check the soil moisture level first; it should be allowed to dry out between waterings. During the winter, reduce watering to once a month or less, as the plant requires even less water when it is not actively growing.

  • sunLight

    Spanish lavender thrives in full sunlight, meaning it should receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun each day for optimal growth. The best spot for this plant is in a sunny border or in a container that can be placed in a location that receives ample sunlight. Avoid locations that are too shaded, as this will impact the plant's bloom and overall health.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Spanish lavender prefers temperate conditions and can tolerate a range between 10°F and 100°F, but it excels in temperatures between 60°F and 70°F. It can survive light frosts, but prolonged exposure to temperatures below 10°F may harm the plant. This lavender is best suited to USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10, where it can be planted in the ground and thrive year-round.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Spanish lavender to encourage bushy growth and prevent the center of the plant from becoming woody. The best time for pruning is in the late summer after the blooms have faded or in early spring before new growth begins. Generally, it should be pruned once or twice a year, cutting back by about a third of the plant's size. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, can be done throughout the blooming season to promote more blooms.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    French Lavender thrives in well-draining, sandy or gravelly soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH between 6.7 to 7.3. A mix of two parts coarse sand, one part compost, and one part perlite or pumice can create an ideal growing environment for this lavender species.

  • plantRepotting

    French Lavender should be repotted every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its container. It's best to repot in spring just before the growing season starts to minimize stress on the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    French Lavender prefers a low to moderate humidity environment, typical of its native Mediterranean habitat. A humidity level between 40% to 60% is often ideal for healthy growth.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place French Lavender in a sunny spot with good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun with good drainage, protect from severe frost.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Lavandula stoechas subsp. stoechas f. leucantha, commonly known as French Lavender, begins its life cycle as a seed, which germinates in warm, well-drained soil conditions, typically in the spring. Upon germination, the seedling emerges and begins to develop its root system and foliage, growing into a young plant with characteristic gray-green leaves and a bushy habit. As the plant matures, it enters the vegetative stage, focusing energy on producing more leaves and stems, expanding its size and reach to maximize photosynthesis. French Lavender reaches flowering maturity within a few months to a year, producing tall flower spikes with whorled florets and distinctive bracts, which are most prolific during late spring to early summer. After pollination, often by bees and butterflies, the flowers develop into seed capsules, releasing seeds for the next generation, while the parent plant may enter a period of dormancy in colder climates or continue to grow in milder regions. This lavender typically has a perennial life cycle, living several years and flowering annually, with proper care including pruning to encourage new growth and prevent woodiness at the base.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: Lavandula stoechas subsp. stoechas f. leucantha, commonly known as Spanish Lavender or Butterfly Lavender, is most effectively propagated through the use of semi-ripe cuttings. The ideal time to take these cuttings is during the summer months when the plant's growth is most active. To propagate Spanish Lavender by this method, one would select a healthy, non-flowering stem and cut a 3-4 inch (approximately 7.5-10 centimeters) piece just below a node, where leaves attach to the stem. The leaves from the lower half of the cutting should be removed, and the cut end dipped into rooting hormone to encourage root growth. The prepared cutting is then placed into a pot filled with a well-draining soil mixture. It's important to water the cutting and keep it in a warm, well-lit area, but out of direct sunlight, to avoid dehydration and scorching. Roots will typically develop within a few weeks, after which the new plant can be gradually acclimated to outdoor conditions and finally transplanted into the garden.