Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
Armed Bear's Breeches, Spiny Bear's Breeches
Spiny acanthus is a clump-forming, evergreen to semi-evergreen perennial native to southern Europe. It is a bold, old-fashioned perennial that offers tall spikes of interesting flowers of maroon and ivory as well as interesting rosettes of deeply lobed, coarsely edged, dark green leaves that look good through the season.
From late spring to midsummer it becomes topped with spikes of bicolored white and maroon-purple flowers subtended by dark green bracts. The flowers are very attractive to bees. Its deeply cut, dark green leaves have spiny margins and add architectural lines and interest to garden designs. One notable cultivar is 'Lady Moore', which has creamy white and green variegated foliage in spring, which turns green later in the season.
Grow this stately plant in full to partial sun and average to fertile soil with good drainage. Its clumps tend to spread and can be divided in fall or spring. This old-fashioned garden favorite is ideal for historic gardens and sunny beds. Both the foliage and flowers offer striking interest, and its tall flower stems can be cut for floral arrangements.
9 - 5
5 - 9
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
36"-48" / 91.4cm - 121.9cm
24"-36" / 61.0cm - 91.4cm
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
White, Purple, Burgundy
Dried Flower / Everlasting, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border
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