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French Lavender

Spanish Lavender is sometimes called French Lavender because it grows wild in France.  However, French Lavender has gray leaves with serrated edges � compared to the silver-gray leaves and �rabbit ear� flowers of French Lavender.

Most French Lavender bushes grow to be up to two feet tall (three feet tall if you count the bloom).  They thrive in Zones 8-11 and enjoy full sun.  The bushes are very tolerant of both frost and drought.  Plant your lavender bushes in well drained and sandy soil.

French Lavender contains many small flowers that appear between petals called bracts (a bract specialized leaf).

Normally, chefs do not use French Lavender when cooking � but a few people do like it.  Also, French Lavender does not have the same smell as English Lavender.

French Lavender blooms from spring until the first frost and has a wonderful aroma.  After blooming, you should prune it in mid-summer and late fall.  When you do, the French Lavender plant will be a shrub for the rest of the year � and it will still maintain its wonderful fragrance.

French Lavender is widely cultivated for use in essential oils (an essential oil is a concentrated liquid composed of the aroma compounds from plants).

Interesting notes

- Some older publications still refer to Spanish Lavender as French lavender.  However, they are different plants.  French Lavender has gray leaves with serrated edges, and Spanish Lavender has very unique �rabbit ear� flowers.

- You can create additional lavender bushes with cuttings or seeds. You can also take softwood cuttings in the spring.

- The word Lavender comes from the Latin word �lavare� which means �to wash�.  Washing your face with lavender is known to stimulate cell growth and help address acne.  The Romans used lavender in their public baths because of its wonderful smell and medicinal properties.

- Some butterflies and humming birds are attracted to lavender.

- You can purchase French Lavender seeds on Amazon.com!   However, keep in mind that it can be difficult to start lavender bushes from seeds.  It is often easier to start a new plant from a seedling or a clipping.