Acanthus mollis. Getty Images

Acanthus mollis

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Acanthus mollis
  • Family: Acanthaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Evergreen
Flower colour:

Purple

White

Foliage colour:

Green

Acanthus, or bear’s breeches, are bold plants, with evergreen architectural foliage and tall flower spikes in summer.

Advertisement

Acanthus mollis has enormous, glossy, deeply lobed leaves and tall flower spikes that are clothed in white flowers, each with a hood-like purple bract, in midsummer. It’s perfect for growing at the back of a herbaceous border and makes a striking architectural presence. The flowers are much loved by bees and can be used in fresh and dried arrangements.

Grow Acanthus mollis in well-drained, fertile soil, in full sun or partial or dappled shade. Divide congested clumps in spring or autumn. It’s a herbaceous perennial, so its foliage dies down in autumn, reappearing the following spring.

While it doesn’t spread, Acanthus mollis does grow into a large clump, which is relatively trouble-free unless you want to move it. However, if you do decide to move it, you may find you’re unable to eradicate it from its original spot – its roots are so deep that it’s hard to remove them all when you dig the plant out of the ground. These then quickly grow into new plants, which can prove impossible to get rid of.

More on growing Acanthus mollis:

Where to buy Acanthus mollis

This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

Advertisement

How to grow Acanthus mollis

  • Plant size

    1.5m height

    90cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, east facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Back

  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, full sun, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do Prune in September

Do Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Acanthus mollis and wildlife

Acanthus mollis is known for attracting bees.

Attractive to Bees

Does not attract Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Does not attract Other pollinators

Is Acanthus mollis poisonous?

Acanthus mollis has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Acanthus mollis