Always earlier in flower than my English lavenders, which are just colouring now, I like these plants for their unusual flowers topped with coloured bracts like wings. The Latin name is Lavandula stoechas, but they are commonly referred to as French, Spanish of Italian Lavenders. The foliage is aromatic when it is crushed but the plant is less fragrant than the English lavenders of the Lavandula angustifolia family.
In my garden they are winter hardy but by the second year they have usually grown leggy and shapeless and although they flower well, they don’t seem to like being pruned back, so I treat them as a short lived perennial and replace them with young plants. They are very attractive to bees and other insects.