Lavandula dentata L.

French Lavender

Shrub to about 1 m tall. Leaves linear to oblong, to about 4 cm long, hairy below; margins shallowly scalloped. Flower spike mostly 2-5 cm long. Bracts ovate to obovate, long-pointed, usually purplish, the sterile bracts at the tip sometimes shortly petal-like. Calyx to about 5 mm long, 13-veined, the upper tooth with a protuberance. Petals to about 8 mm long, dark purple. Flowering peak in winter if pruned in summer, but may carry flowers year round.

Yemen, Morocco, Algeria, Spain

The common name, French Lavender, is a misnomer but persists in Australia.

var. candicans Battand. from Cape Verde Islands, Madeira and N Africa, has leaves, young stems and flower stalks white-hairy, giving the foliage a soft grey appearance. This is the commonly cultivated variety.

var. dentata is occasionally available and differs from var. candicans in having a smaller growth habit, permanently bright green foliage, shorter flower stalks, and smaller, narrower flower heads with flowers a paler clear blue.

Source: Spencer, R.; Holmes, R.; McNaughton, V. (2002). Lavandula. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Lavandula dentata 'Allwood'

Compact shrub about 1m by 1m with grey-green foliage; flower clusters 3-5 cm long, pale purple; late winter to late autumn.

Plant donated to Adelaide Botanic Garden in the 1950s by an avid Adelaide gardener. She obtained the seed from England and selected the form for its soft foliage and compact habit.

Introduced Clive Larkman, Larkman Nurseries, Lilydale, Victoria, c. 1997.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Lamiaceae
genus        Lavandula L.