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Acanthus spinosus (Bear's Britches)

Type Herbaceous flower, Deciduous, Ground cover, Flowering
Form Ground-Hugging Rounded Clump, Architectural Form
Size Medium Border Plant (50-180cm height)
Colours Purple Flowers (Summer), Medium green Foliage
Care Some Maintenance Required - Tough Plant
Hardiness Frost hardy, Drought Tolerant, Seaside Friendly
Growth Medium Growing Plant
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Acanthus spinosus Description

Impressive architectural herbaceous perennial with long dark green arching leaves, each being cut with spines at points. Acanthus produces tall spires of purple white flowers throughout the summer. Ideal in larger borders.1.5m tall X .5m.


Acanthus spinosus - Cultivation Notes

This herbaceous perennial flourishes in any deep fertile soil with good drainage, requiring full light to grow. Once established do not disturb roots. Requires plenty of room to grow and occasional staking for taller flower spikes.


Strengths, Weaknesses & Design Usage


Strengths of Acanthus spinosus:

  • Sun loving drought tolerant plant
  • Spiney growth can deter unwanted visitors!
  • All round tough plant suitable for problem areas
  • Architectural plant – ideal as a ‘stand out’ plant
  • Suitable for exposed coastal planting
  • Tolerates full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils
  • Tolerates heavy clay soils

Weaknesses of Acanthus spinosus

  • Spiney plant - can scratch young children and gardeners!

Design & Plant Use for Acanthus spinosus:

  • Summer flowering herbaceous plant suitable for border planting

View all the plants listed in Genus Acanthus

View other ground cover plants with purple flowers, or ground cover plants with medium green foliage


Common Missspellings: Akanthus, Acanthis, Ackanthus, Akanthes, Acanthius

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