Acanthus mollis - Bear’s Breeches
Acanthus mollis flowers appear on tall, erect spikes in spring and summer.
This plant requires deep, fertile, well drained soils in a sheltered position. Apply a slow, controlled release fertiliser around the base of the plant during the plants growing season to reduce fertiliser burning on leaves. Remove spent flower spikes to promote continuous flower during Summer. The leaves are very attractive to slugs, snails and leaf-eating insects. Snail bait around this plant is necessary, particularly in wet weather. After flowering explosive pods scatter seed over a wide area and the plant will grow from any piece of root, so acanthus can become a garden pest.
Good moist soil needs to be maintained.
If moist is not maintained in hot dry weather its soft leaves can droop. Able to withstand cold temperatures.
Great understory planting for a tropical garden in shady areas or under deciduous trees. Will make a good feature planting or foliage plant in any ornamental garden as well as a perfect container or indoor plant. Can also be used for a cut or dried flower arrangement.
Large handsome glossy green lobbed leaves and dramatic long lasting spires of purple and white flowers. An almost indestructible plant.
Other information A horticultural survivor from Ancient Greek and Roman times, Acanthus mollis is one of the great garden plants. It was so highly regarded in the ancient world that a motif shaped like an acanthus leaf was used to decorate the tops of Corinthian columns.