Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Lamiales - Family: Lamiaceae
One of several lavenders in southern Europe, French Lavender is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae) common in the Mediterranean Region. It also flowers in northwest Africa and eastwards as far as the Balkans. It favours open maquis and garrigue, roadsides, stony and rocky places and sparse pine forests. It is grown as an ornamental garden plant and has medicinal uses as well as being cultivated as a crop for its oil, which is supplied to the perfume industry. It flowers from March to June.
This aromatic shrub is not difficult to find in the Mediterranean region, where it lights up inhospitable (to other plants) habitats.
The flowers are usually dark purple but occasionally white specimens can be found.
These specimens were photographed in the Algarve in southern Portugal in May, where there is also a subspecies lusitanica.
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