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European Journal

France: Lavender Under Siege

A type of bacteria is threatening the life of Provence's signature herb. Now scientists are searching for a variety of the plant that is resistant to these microorganisms.

Watch video 03:11

Provence's lavender fields are under siege from bacteria called stolbur phytoplasma, transmitted by tiny cicada insects. It can cause the plants to form only tiny flowers and dry up. The disease has been spreading since the year 2000, and the dryness of the past year has only worsened the situation for lavender farmers. Some have had to uproot their entire crops.