Lavandula stoechas subsp. stoechas f.rosea 'Kew Red'
A cerise-crimson head topped by small pink bracts, but capricious - like a barmaid with bright-pink nails
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to August
- Hardiness: borderline hardy (may need winter protection)
One of the most eyecatching French lavenders, with fat flowerheads studded with tiny, bright cerise flowers, from which delicate, pale pink, upright flags emerge like butterfly wings and flutter in the breeze. The flowers go on for weeks from late spring among grey-green, aromatic, evergreen foliage. It looks wonderful planted en masse in a protected, sunny border where its heady fragrance can be enjoyed, or in a container. Like most French lavenders, this 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 beneficial insects. In frost-prone areas it is best grown in a large container and over-wintered indoors.
- 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.