Height: 90-120cm (3-4ft)
Planting: distance: 1.2m (4ft)
Soil: deep, well-drained
Site: sun or partial shade
Grown as much for its immense, glossy, dark greenas for its summer of white and purple flowers, bear’s breeches is a magnificent border plant. The flowers make a striking show on their upright 45cm (1 1/2ft) long spikes and are suitable for fresh or dried flower .
Acanthus mollis reaches a height of 90cm (3ft) and has mid to dark green, broader and smoother than Acanthus sf)inosus. The white flowers have pink-purple bracts. Acanthus spinosus reaches a height of up to 1.2m (4ft), The spiny leaves are deeply cut and the white and purple flowers have green bracts.
Plant between autumn and early-spring in deep, well-drained soil in a sunny or lightly shaded site.
Propagation: Sowin early spring in boxes of in a cold frame. When the show two or three true leaves, prick them out, 15cm (6in) apart, into a nursery bed. Grow on for two years before planting out into their final positions.
Alternatively, take 7.5cm (3in) longof the thicker between mid and late winter.
Pests and diseases: Trouble free.