Genus: Bear's breeches

Acanthus

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Bear's breeches (Acanthus)
ah-KAN-thus
Acanthaceae
Plants in this genus are native to rocky, dry sites in the Mediterranean. Vigorous and bold, these architectural plants are grown for their striking foliage and flowers. Dark green oblong to lance-shaped leaves reach to 36 inches long. Flowers are borne on 4-foot-tall racemes with spiny bracts and sepals in combinations of white, green, yellow, pink, or purple. 
Noteworthy characteristics:  Flowers are good for cutting and drying.
Care:  Tolerates most any soil in sun or part shade, but they prefer deep, fertile, moist but well-drained, organically rich soil.
Propagation: 

Sow seeds in spring, divide plants in spring or autumn, or take root cuttings in late autumn or early winter. Sow indoors in full or filtered light. Outdoors, sow in any soil in sun or part shade.

Problems: 

Powdery mildew, fungal and bacterial leaf spot.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Acanthus

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Bear's breeches
Acanthus mollis
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Bear's breeches
Acanthus mollis 'Tasmanian Angel'