Spiny Bear’s-breeches, Acanthus spinosus, has become quiet a conversation peace in our garden. This perennial has spikes with mauve flowers which bloom in June and July with thistle like leaves. It makes a bold statement in the garden and many landscape designers use it as an accent plant in borders.
We especially like it because it’s deer and rabbit resistant and it withstands our hot humid summers and zero degree winters here in Middle Tn.
It gives any garden a bold architectural statement with its tall substantial spikes of mauve and white. The flowers may remind you of a large snapdragon.
This wonderful plant grows 2 to 4 ft tall by 3 feet wide in zones 5 – 10. Plant in the front or middle of your perennial bed. It likes sun to part shade. Here in Middle Tn and Nashville, Spiny bear’s-breeches can use some shade in the afternoon.
The flower heads look good for several weeks. No deadheading necessary until late summer when flower heads finally decline. Any foliage that is dead or tattered may need to be cut back in late summer also.
Leaves are evergreen or semi-evergreen depending on where you live and how severe your winters are.
Be aware that it can spread aggressively by creeping rootstock in light soils and spreading roots are difficult to remove completely. We’ve had it for years in our garden with no aggressiveness noted.
The following characteristics of this cool plant is included in Tracy Disabato-Aust’s newest book entitled 50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants.
Spiny bears-breeches low-maintenance checklist:
- Tolerates heat and humidity
- Insect and disease resistant
- Minimal or no deadheading
- Minimal or no fertilizing
- No staking
- Minimal or no division
- Minimal or no pruning
We think you’ll love Spiny bear’s-breeches as a full sun perennial for Middle Tn and Nashville area. Give us a call at 615-350-8030, or use our contact page, if you have any questions or would like more advice on how to make your garden spectacular!
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