Not the plant you're looking for? Search over 300,000 plants
Herbaceous Perennial

Acanthus mollis

bear's breech

A. mollis is a vigorous plant with large, glossy dark green leaves, pinnately lobed and, in late summer, tall racemes of white flowers with dusky purple bracts

Other common names
bear's breeches
brank ursine
see morecommon bear's breech
soft-leaved bear's breech
Synonyms
Acanthus spinosisimus Host
Acanthus lusitanicus hort.

Unlimited days out

Individual RHS membership from £47.25

Complete now
Buy this plant
Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple White Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Acanthaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Acanthus are robust herbaceous perennials with handsome, lobed foliage and tall, erect racemes of two-lipped flowers with colourful bracts

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Europe, NW Africa

How to grow

Cultivation

The ideal soil is a deep, fertile, well-drained loam but it will grow in most soils and has good drought tolerance. We advise against moving this plant as new shoots will emerge from deep roots unavoidably left behind and may be difficult to eradicate

Propagation

Propagate by division or by root cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Cut flowers
Pruning

Cut down old flower stems

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Powdery mildews may be a problem

My Garden

Your free RHS gardening coach

Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully

My plants
My calendar

My plants

My calendar

My ideas
Manage membership

My ideas

My advice

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.