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ACANTHUS mollis 'Oak Leaf'

Image of Acanthus mollis 'Oak Leaf'

John Rickard

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

ACANTHUS mollis 'Oak Leaf'

Plant Common Name

Bank Ursine, Bear's Breeches, Oak Leaf Bear's Breeches

General Description

This cultivar of the popular bear’s breech has bigger leaves that are more deeply lobed, almost oak-like. It is an interesting Old World perennial that has a coarse upright habit that adds texture to sunny gardens. Bear's breech is quite hardy and summer-blooming. It is native to regions in southwestern Europe, though it has been in cultivation for a long time.

The deeply lobed, coarse leaves are rich dark green and form large rosettes. In summer, it produces tall upright spikes of two-lipped, tubular maroon and white flowers. Once spent, the old blooms should be cut back to make best of the semi-evergreen foliage.

This perennial grows best in full to partial sun and fertile soil with average drainage. It is an old-fashioned perennial that’s commonly planted in historic gardens across Europe. Both the foliage and flowers bring striking interest to the garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m (4)

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m (4)

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Western Europe, Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Burgundy, Chocolate, Ivory

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No