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The Plant Guide

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Bear’s breeches

Acanthus mollis

ah-KAN-thus MAWL-iss

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 CharacteristicsA strong architectural accent, it is best placed at the rear of the border.

CareBest in deep, rich, well-drained soil. Plants need protection from hot afternoon sun. Hardy and evergreen to Zone 7.

PropagationSow seeds in spring, divide plants in spring or autumn, or take root cuttings in late autumn or early winter.

ProblemsPowdery mildew, fungal and bacterial leaf spot.

  • Genus : Acanthus
  • Zones : 10, 11, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Fall Interest
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Flower Color : White

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