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Acanthus spinosus

(Bear's breeches, spiny)

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Hardiness Zones:

Quick Overview:

Acanthus spinosus commonly called bear's breeches is a clump-forming perennial which is grown as much for its attractive foliage as for its architecturally bold flower spikes. Features pure white, snapdragon-like flowers enclosed (hooded and subtended) by spiny, reddish-purple bracts and arranged in vertical rows on substantial flower spikes which rise well above the foliage mound to 3-4' tall. Blooms from late spring into mid summer. Deeply-cut, arching, glossy green, spiny, thistle-like leaves (2-3' long) form an ornamental mound of long-stalked, basal foliage which usually remains attractive throughout the growing season.


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerates wide range of soils except poorly-drained ones. Appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates.

Additional Information

Common Name Bear's breeches, spiny
Botanical Name Acanthus spinosus
Container/Amount 1 gallon
Plant Category Perennial
Evergreen or Deciduous Evergreen
Hardiness Zone 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Height 3 to 4'
Width 2 to 3'
Growth Rate No
Light Requirements Sun, Part-sun, Part-shade
Soil Condition Well-drained
Water Needs Average
Blooming Period May-July
Flower Color Mauve
Fragrance No
Foliage Color green
Berry Color No
Deer Resistant Yes

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