Herb: French Lavender


Latin name: Lavandula stoechas


Synonyms: Stoechas officinarum


Family: Labiatae



Medicinal use of French Lavender:

French lavender has similar medicinal properties to common lavender (L. angustifolia). It yields more essential oil than that species but is of inferior quality. The flowers, and the essential oil derived from them, are antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive and expectorant. It is used internally to alleviate nausea. Externally, the essential oil is used as an antiseptic wash for wounds, ulcers, sores etc and as a relaxing oil for massage.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
75 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
May to
August


Scent:
Scented
Shrub

Habitat of the herb:

Dry hills, garigue and open woods on limestone and granite soils.

Other uses of French Lavender:

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers - used in soap making, perfumery, medicinally etc. When growing the plant for its essential oil content, it is best to harvest the flowering stems as soon as the flowers have faded. The aromatic leaves and flowers are used in pot-pourri, as an insect repellent in the linen cupboard etc. They are also used as a strewing herb in churches etc. The flowering stems, once the flowers have been removed for use in pot-pourri etc, can be tied in small bundles and burnt as incense sticks.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. It usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Usually very east, a high percentage will root within a few weeks. Grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings 7cm with a heel succeed at almost any time of the year. Layering.

Cultivation of French Lavender:

Dry hills, garigue and open woods on limestone and granite soils.

Known hazards of Lavandula stoechas:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.