Botanical Name: Acanthus mollis Add
Common Name: Bear's Breech, Acanthus  
Plant photo of: Acanthus mollis
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  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Shrub, Perennial


Height Range

1-3', 3-6'


Flower Color

Blue, Pink, Purple, White, Multi-Colored


Flower Season

Spring, Summer


Leaf Color

Dark Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Half, Shade





Growth Rate



Soil Type



Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Well-drained


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Japanese, Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch, Tropical, Water Garden, Wetlands, Woodland


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Unusual Shape


Seasonal Interest



Location Uses

Entry, Foundation, Patio, Raised Planter, Swimming Pool, Walls / Fences, Walkways


Special Uses

Container, Filler, Mass Planting


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Jerry Sortomme Editor
Photographer: Greg Applegate/Thompson
  • Description

  • Notes

This perennial produces large clusters of glossy foliage that is deeply lobed. Its leaves may reach lengths of 2'. The tall, purplish-white flower spikes are usually seen in late spring to early summer. It can be used as an accent plant. Acanthus is an effective, shade loving, herbaceous shrub.
Planting: 1. Dig a hole 1" less the depth and 2 times the width of the container. 2. Fill hole with water, let soak. 3. Set root ball in hole. 4. Fill hole halfway with native soil and water. 5. Finish back filling hole, build basin and water.