Acanthus mollis

Bear’s Breeches

A wonderfully architectural plant (its leaves were once carved onto the capitals of Greek and Roman columns) Acanthus mollis is a large, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with an upright habit. The big, glossy, mid-green leaves are jagged-edged and dramatic, giving a sculptural effect in the border. From May to August tall spires of long-lasting, white, sometimes pinkish-white, flowers under dusky purple bracts are borne above the leaves. An elegant and unusual plant, it flowers best in full sun, but will also thrive in partial or even full shade. Choose the site for bear’s breeches carefully, as it roots deeply and new shoots can spring from any scraps of root left behind.

Site: Tolerates exposure
Soil: Any reasonably fertile, light to loamy, well-drained soil
Position: Flowers best in full sun; tolerates partial and full shade
Season of interest: Spring to autumn, May to August in particular
Hardiness: Very hardy
Height: 5’ (1.5m); Spread: 5’ (1.5m)

Type | Size: Pot | 9cm
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