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ACANTHUS 'Summer Beauty'

Image of Acanthus 'Summer Beauty'

JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

ACANTHUS 'Summer Beauty'

Plant Common Name

Bear's Breeches, Summer Beauty Bear's Breeches

General Description

The tall and stately Acanthus ‘Summer Beauty’ is a hybrid bear’s breeches that is tolerant of summer heat, if given regular moisture. Huge, glossy, semi-evergreen, lobed leaves with spines on the margins form a large, mounded rosette. Its tall flower stalks appear in late spring through midsummer with an abundance of widely-spaced, snapdragon-like blooms that are white with purple calyces (outer flower cover). The blooms are highly attractive to bees.

Acanthus prefers full to partial sun and will grow in average soil that drains well but retains some moisture. A bit of afternoon shade is good in climates with hot summers. This is an easy-to-grow plant, but it is known to spread, so it is best divided every three years or so. Summer Beauty’s bold foliage is beautiful throughout the season, and it's a choice for perennial beds and cutting gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    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

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    24"-48" / 61.0cm - 121.9cm (36)

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m (5)

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple

  • 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

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes