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Dear Forum Members,
Going by the foliage alone I was certain this was a weed. Then it's 'flower' appeared and I gave it the benefit of the doubt as it was rather beautiful (see picture).
Then yesterday I was walking locally and someone had the same plant in their front garden with several flower stems, with these rather complex, interesting and beautiful flowers.
However I have never laid eyes on this before yet it's leaves reminded me of weeds, possibly of the nettle family, which I have encountered in the past.
I have attached 3 pictures. Can anyone solve the mystery for me please?
The Grateful Deadhead
Is it acanthus?
aaaahhhh!! A Google image search reveals that it is indeed Acanthus. Well done you, and thanks!
not sure which one, looks a bit short for spinosus
yes it is shorter than the long ones I saw in someone's garden. It nearly met a sticky end in the green waste bin, I must admit. I am glad I gave it the benefit of the doubt. Thanks
Possibly A hungaricus ?
My A.mollis is flowering beautifully at the moment since moving it from against a hot south facing wall to a shadier spot
My mollis has earned a reprieve. It's flowered very little for years but this year's height and flower spikes has beaten all records. It can stay
I have an Acanthus spinosus given to me by a forum member and if it flowers anything like that I'll be thrilled. I think I was told not to let it seed all over.
I wouldn't worry about the seeds KEF
Watch the roots
Nut I was given it in a bucket and I didn't have a big enough space so it's in a huge tub. I think mine is different to posters as it is a lot more prickly but deffo' Acanthus spinosus as I was given a hand written label
I have a flowering A. spinosus now. Fidget gave it to me. Before that I had 2 that just do leaves, for years and years. It's about 3 foot tall.
The mollis is about 6 foot, way above my head
Nut she is a very generous plantswoman I'm re-designing my garden based on gifts.
Good idea KEF. I love swapping plants.
May I ask Nutcutlet about the Acanthus regarding it's roots? Its quite near other stuff (as you may be able to see from the photo). Should I be very concerned? Its about 18" from a fern and in the other direction about 18" from some shorter orangey Montbretias.
I wouldn't worry too much. It's not ground elder
It's the sort of plant that if you move it, it's still there. You have 2 clumps. But it doesn't take over the garden.
I would say Acanthus spinosus. Mine has several spikes and is about 4 ft tall. It spreads. If it seeds the seedlings are dreadful to dig out. Once you've got ,you've got it for life.Mine has a spread of about 4 ft cross despite hacking out lumps most years. Burglars don't like it however. My sister has some one who kept hopping over her fence as a shortcut from the pub, until one was strategically placed. They go the long way round now
I also have Acanthus spinosissimus which has much pricklier leaves. Its not died but its never flowered for me. Maybe I'll move it.
This is what to expect. This is a 15 year old clump.
I picked several heads after they had flowered one year and sprayed them with gold paint to use as christmas decorations In the warmth of the living room the seeds popped off every so often with a little explosoion and caterpulted across the room - entertaining!