TOP TEN FOR THE ALGARVE - Lavender

  Lavender L avandula   dentata var. dentata   (E Spain, along the coastal areas, Gibraltar, Balearic Islands, N Africa).  O ne of the mor...

 Lavender


Lavandula  dentata var. dentata  (E Spain, along the coastal areas, Gibraltar, Balearic Islands, N Africa).  One of the more widely distributed lavender species.

L.  dentata  var. candicans (Morocco, Algeria, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Republic of Yemen).  Commonly cultivated in Australia, making hedges up to 5 feet where it is known as French lavender.

L. dentata 
L. multifida flower hear

























L. X allardii a cross of L. latifoila   and L. dentata   Its small bracts and slightly serrated leaves are reminiscent of French Lavender, while its slender wands are indicative of its other parent, Spike Lavender. A beautiful lavender in its own right. Not the most prolific bloomer, but it is perfect for a fragrant dense hedge.

L. multifida   (native to the southern regions of the Mediterranean, including Iberia, Sicily and the Canary Islands) A small plant, sometimes a shrub, the stems are grey and woolly. Leaves are double pinnate.

L. latifolia (grows wild in Spain, SW & C France)  It has a claim to fame as one of the parents of the commercially important hybrid L. x intermedia subsp. intermedia.

L. lanata  (grows wild only in SE Spain, mainly Andalucia) Familiarly known as the woolly lavender, it is instantly recognisable by its silvery appearance due to the density of the hairs covering the whole plant. 

L. stoechas luisieri 
L. viridis with L. stoechas





L. stoechas  subsp. stoechas  (Around the Mediterranean coastline from the Iberian Peninsula over to Turkey and the Middle East, including the N African coast) often found in pine or cork oak forests, appearing as a pioneer species after the common firestorms that occur in such communities. It prefers more acidic soil than other lavender species. 

 L. stoechas  subsp. luisieri  (Confined to Portugal & W Spain) It is often found with L. viridis, 

L. pedunculata  (endemic to Spain and Portugal) prefers a more alkaline soil, known for its butterfly-like, narrow petals that emerge from the top of its narrow stalk looking like bunny ears.

L. viridis (an important parent in cultivation, native to Portugal & SE Spain) It would be very difficult to mistake this lavender for any other: it is a very hairy plant, with rather crinkled bright green leaves, white flowers and creamy-green apical bracts. It has a distinctive highly camphorous smell.


Joan Headis the former UK National Collection Holder for Lavandula species. Joan, and her husband Michael, have visited Portugal and Spain to study lavenders as well as using them in their own garden. She has Lavandula × chaytoriae 'Joan Head'  named for her. Joan has visited the Algarve many times. 


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