Dark green, very ornamental large leaves on an herbaceous, semi-hardy plant that grows about 3' tall and upright, with slightly less spread than height. Leaves can be quite large, with deep cuts, although there's quite a bit of difference among individual leaves. In summer, makes creamy white to slightly pink or purplish flowers on dramatically tall, erect stalks above foliage, although the plant's main drama is its foliage. Location
CultureLikes loose, average to rich soil. Tolerates moderately dry conditions once established.
Light: Partial shade.
Moisture: Average. Hates wet conditions.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5-10.
Propagation: By division in spring or fall, or from seed.
UsageAn acanthus would stand out in a bed of ferns or hostas, providing contrast with its darker color, greater size, and complex texture. It would be a stately specimen in a courtyard garden. Some of the dignity that seems inherent in this plant might stem from its use in the ornamentation of classical Greek artwork and Corinthian columns! Probably because of its classical background, or perhaps because of the sculptural nature of the plant, it imposes an air of formality. Certainly it deserves a place of honor on the grounds of your palace!
FeaturesBold, textured, large leaves; tall, imposing flower spike.
Family: Acanthaceae (acanthus family)
Common Names: bear's breech, Grecian pattern plant, artist's acanthus
Publisher: Hirt's Gardens
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