Geography and distribution
The species is found only on the Canary Islands, from sea level to 1,500 m. Lavandula minutolii var. minutolii is found on Gran Canaria and L. minutolii var. tenuipinna on Tenerife.
Lavandula minutolii var. minutolii, painted by Christabel King, in The Genus Lavandula. (© Christabel King)
Lavandula minutolii is a small, attractive, aromatic, woody shrub up to around 1 m high. The narrow greyish-green, aromatic leaves are deeply divided and covered with minute woolly hairs, giving an almost feathery effect.
The spikes of violet-blue flowers are carried well above the foliage on long, slender stems. The flowers are small, 8–9 mm across, violet-blue, and produced from January or, at elevations above 800 m, from March.
Lavandula minutolii var. tenuipinna differs slightly in having broader leaves with secondary lobing and smaller flowers.
Threats and conservation
Lavandula minutolii var. minutolii is only locally abundant and has been assessed as Near Threatened (NT) according to IUCN Red List criteria.
Lavendula minutolii var. tenuipinna is considered Vulnerable (VU) D1+2 because it is restricted to a small area on Tenerife.
Lavandula minutolii is occasionally cultivated as an ornamental.
Lavandula minutolii requires protection from frost and flowers from late January onwards in the conservatory.
This species at Kew
Lavandula minutolii can be seen growing in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and in the Duchess Border (along the wall between the Grass Garden and Duke's Garden).
The Duchess Border
The Duchess Border (named after Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge, who lived at Cambridge Cottage) is backed by a high south-facing wall, behind which is the Duke’s Garden. Since 1990, the Duchess Border has been a testing ground for a collection of lavender species and other Mediterranean plants. They are grown to test their hardiness, ease of propagation and growth habits.
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