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An evergreen shrub 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 ft high; the leaves, stems, and flower-stalks covered with a fine grey down. Leaves linear, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄16 to 1⁄8 in. wide, margins recurved. Main flower-stalk 4 to 12 in. long, four-angled, bearing the flowers at the top in a dense spike 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. long and 1⁄2 to 5⁄8 in. wide. Bracts violet-purple, broadly wedge-shaped, 3⁄8 in. wide, downy, margined with hairs; they constitute the most attractive part of the inflorescence. Of the flower itself only the deep purple corolla shows and it is only 1⁄8 in. or a little more across. The spike is surmounted by a tuft of violet-purple, linear-oblong, leaflike bracts which are up to 11⁄2 in. long and 1⁄4 in. wide.
L. pedunculata is a variable species distributed from the Atlantic Islands through Spain and Portugal and N. Africa to the S. Balkans and Asia Minor; but in its typical state, as described above, it is mainly confined to Spain. It is closely related to L. stoechas (with which it was associated as a variety by Linnaeus and other botanists), but its spike of clustered flowers is shorter, comparatively broader, and borne on a much longer main-stalk; the terminal tuft of bracts also is longer, and the bracts composing it are narrower. In general aspect the two plants are much the same. On the whole this appears to be the handsomest of the lavenders, but unfortunately is not really hardy with us. It grows wild up to elevations of 4,800 ft in Spain, often in arid calcareous localities. Probably its tenderness with us is due as much to lack of summer sunshine as to winter cold. It should be grown at the foot of a sunny wall where it can conveniently be covered with a mat in times of severe frost. It flowers from June to August.
L. viridis L’Hérit. – Leaves and stems covered with rough, greenish hairs. Flowers white, bracts white or greenish white. S. Portugal and Madeira. It is intermediate botanically between L. pedunculata and L. stoechas.
This is now placed under L. stoechas as a subspecies.