Acanthus spinosus

Acanthus spinosus

Bear's breeches

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 flower in May

Plant does 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 spinosus
  • Common name: Bear's breeches
  • Family: Acanthaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Deciduous
Flower colour:

Blue

White

Foliage colour:

Blue​/​Green

Acanthus spinosus is a statuesque architectural plant, with handsome dark green leaves whose stylised shapes form the decorative detail on Corinthian columns, bringing a strong hint of classical elegance to the garden. The plants make large, mound-shaped rosettes of glossy leathery leaves, finely cut and each tipped with a ferocious spine. The flower spikes resemble tall foxgloves from a distance, with hooded two-tone flowers. Once established it is virtually impossible to move plants so correct positioning is vital. A dramatic plant for growing in gravel or grass, or at the back of a large border. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

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Grow Acanthus spinosus in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Cut back after flowering.

How to grow Acanthus spinosus

  • Plant size

    1.5m height

    100cm spread

  • Aspect

    North facing, south facing, east facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Middle

  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, full sun, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Acidic / chalky / alkaline / clay / heavy / moist / well drained / light / sandy

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 flower in May

Plant does 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

Divide
Divide

Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do Divide in March

Do Divide in April

Do Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do not Divide in September

Do not Divide in October

Do not Divide in November

Do not Divide in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do not Take cuttings in March

Do not Take cuttings in April

Do not Take cuttings in May

Do not Take cuttings in June

Do not Take cuttings in July

Do not Take cuttings in August

Do not Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do Take cuttings 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 spinosus and wildlife

Acanthus spinosus is known for attracting bees. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Attractive to Bees

Does not attract Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Does not attract Other pollinators

Is Acanthus spinosus poisonous?

Acanthus spinosus 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