Lavandula pedunculata subsp. pedunculata
French lavender (syn. Papillon)
The purple ears of this slender upright lavender are the longest of all and they constantly move and flow in the slightest breeze - jauntily announcing summer
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June and July
- Hardiness: borderline hardy (may need winter protection)
From fat round flowerheads, delicate, upright petals emerge like butterfly wings and flutter in the breeze among grey-green, aromatic leaves. This French lavender has pale mauve flowers and looks wonderful planted en masse in a protected, sunny border where its heady fragrance can be enjoyed. Like most French lavenders, it is earlier flowering than its English cousins, but associates well with them if you want to prolong the season of lavender in your garden. The flower-spikes are also a magnet for bees and other nectar-loving insects.
As it's borderline hardy it is best grown in a container in colder areas of the country and should be over-wintered in a cool greenhouse or conservatory.
- Garden care: Cut back the stalks after the flowers have faded to retain a compact shape. Carefully trim back in April, taking care not to cut into old wood.