Spiny Bear's Breeches
Also known as
Armed Bear's Breech, Spine Acanthus
Photo by AlanGardenMaster (All rights reserved)
2 years to reach maturity
This plant has no fragrance
More images of Spiny Bear's Breeches
Spiny Bear's Breeches Overview
Acanthus spinosus is a clump-forming perennial that produces dark green glossy spine-toothed leaves. Flowers are borne on tall, erect racemes of white flowers with spiny purplish bracts surrounding them in late spring and summer.
Common problems with Spiny Bear's Breeches
Pests include snails. Diseases include powdery mildew, fungal and bacterial leaf spot.
How to harvest Spiny Bear's Breeches
To harvest flowers, cut the flower at the height of bloom and hang upside down in a cool, dark place to dry. If dried correctly they will hold their colour well and will last about a year before browning. Harvest seeds in late winter.
How to propagate Spiny Bear's Breeches
Sow seeds in spring. Germinates in 3 - 4 weeks.
Take root cuttings in late autumn or early winter and keep moist.
Usually propagated from tubers and tends to form large, localized clumps which can survive for several decades. Divide clumps in autumn or spring.
Special features of Spiny Bear's Breeches
It is tolerant of drought once established.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts useful pollinating insects such as bees and bumble bees.
Attractive, showy blooms.
Other uses of Spiny Bear's Breeches
This low maintenance flower is frequently grown for cut flowers but also provides architecture to beds and borders. Drought resistant once established it suits Mediterranean and gravel gardens.