This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Stoechas purpuraea C B. Lavandula Staechas Linn. French lavender: a low shrubby plant, with small oblong narrow leaves, bearing on the tops of the branches short thick spikes or scaly heads, from which issue several small purple labiated flowers, followed each by four seeds inclosed in the cup. It is a native of the southern parts of Europe, common in our gardens, and flowers in May or June. The shops have been generally supplied, from Italy and the south of France, with the flowery tops, often mouldy, and never equal to those of our own growth.
The best stechas which we receive from abroad has no great smell or taste; Pomet affirms, that such as is to be met with in the shops of Paris is entirely destitute of both; whereas ours, both whilst fresh and when carefully dried, has a pretty strong aromatic smell, and a moderately warm pungent bitterish taste. Distilled with water, it yields a considerable quantity of a pale-coloured fragrant essential oil: the remaining decoction is unpleasantly bitterish and subastringent. With rectified spirit, it gives over nothing considerable, greatest part of the active matter of the stechas being left in the extract. Both the herb itself and its preparations are much less grateful than lavender, with which it is supposed to have some agreement in virtue.