HARDY PERENNIALS: ACANTHUS

A. spinosus is the best known of these imposing subjects. They need space in which to be appreciated and are vigorous enough to steadily expand, with deep green leaves which are not prickly, the individual flowers are protected with a sharp spine. These come on 4-5 feet spikes and an established clump will continue in flower more or less from June till autumn. The roots of all Acanthus are fleshy and deeply penetrating. A site should be carefully chosen as roots left in the ground broken off, will sprout again. Plants are long lived, drought resistant and not fussy as to soil, but A. mollis is less free to flower and needs a warm situation. A. longifolius has handsome foliage and 3-4 feet stems of lilac-mauve flowers. The smallest is the slow growing A. perringii. This has greyish leaves and occasional spikes 12 inches high of a pinkish shade.

ACANTHUS spinosus

ACANTHUS spinosus

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