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Herbaceous Perennial

Acanthus spinosus L.

spiny bear's breech

A. spinosus is a handsome herbaceous perennial to 1.2m, with large, deeply lobed and spine-tipped, dark glossy green leaves. Erect spikes of white flowers with spiny purplish bracts in late spring and summer

Other common names
armed bear's breech
spiny bear's breeches
Synonyms
Acanthus caroli-alexandri

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple White Green
Summer Purple White Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • 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
Mediterranean

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.

Propagation

Propagate by division or by root cuttings

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

Cut down old flower stems

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Powdery mildews may be a problem

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