Bear's breeches

Acanthus mollis

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Bear's breeches (Acanthus mollis)
ah-KAN-thus MAWL-iss
Genus:  Acanthus
Acanthus mollis is prized for its bold clumps of shiny green leaves topped with striking, 3-foot-tall spires of white flowers which are clasped by showy purple bracts. This is a great plant for an eye-catching structural element in a part-shade border.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  A strong architectural accent, it is best placed at the rear of the border.
Care:  Best in deep, rich, well-drained soil. Plants need protection from hot afternoon sun. Hardy and evergreen to Zone 7.
Propagation:  Sow seeds in spring, divide plants in spring or autumn, or take root cuttings in late autumn or early winter.
Problems:  Powdery mildew, fungal and bacterial leaf spot.

Overview

Height
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Early Summer,
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower
Foliage Color
Evergreen
Uses
Beds and Borders
Style
Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest
Fall Interest
Type
Perennials

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