Lavandula multifida--also known as Fern Leaf Lavender, Spanish Eyes, or Spanish Lace--is a fragrant lavender plant with beautiful purple flowers. Unlike other lavenders that wither and die in heat and humidity, Fern Leaf Lavender thrive in this type of climate. Yet, the flowers are just as fragrant as other, more sensitive lavenders.
Fern Leaf Lavender is native to areas of the Mediterranean including Italy, Spain and France to the north and Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Egypt to the south. The plant can also be found in the Canary Islands. In the United States, Fern Leaf Lavender is grown as an introduced ornamental in southern regions.
Fern Leaf Lavender is not typical of other lavenders that are heat- and humidity-sensitive and can thrive in warmer climates. The foliage is silvery and fine with a velvety texture. The bright blue-purple flowers form in spikes, usually with three spikes per stem. As with other lavenders, the flowers are highly fragrant.
The plant can reach a height of 18 to 24 inches, and can spread to 24 inches across. The plant is open and irregular in shape. Flowering stems are upright with spiked blooms. The stems are fuzzy and the leaves are finely multi-lobed and fan-like.
The plant prefers full sun. Sandy loam soils that drain well are best. Once established, Fern Leaf Lavender requires should be allowed to dry out between waterings. It should be planted with plenty of room to spread. The plant can be propagated from cuttings.
Fern Leaf Lavender is relatively fast-growing. Plants should be spaced well as Fern Leaf Lavender spreads easily. This plant is hot-weather-hardy and can be easily grown in hardiness zones 8 through 10. The plant blossoms prolifically from spring through autumn in cooler areas and is often ever-blooming in Zone 10.