Acanthus sp., Acanthus, Bear's Breeches, Mountain Thistle, Alligator Plant. Acanthus montanus
Acanthus montanus

Acanthus sp.

Acanthus, Bear's Breeches, Mountain Thistle, Alligator Plant
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Mediterranean Basin, Asia
USDA Zone: 5-9?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeShadeFull sunModerate waterRegular waterOrnamental foliageThorny or spinyDeciduous plantSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Acanthus sp., also known as Acanthus, Bear's Breeches, grows in full sun to partial shade and will thrive in most soils, provided they are well-drained. It is a thinly branched unusual perennial with interesting foliage, basal clusters of oblong to lance-shaped glossy, dark green leaves reaching up to 12 inches long. The leaves have silver marks and wavy margins. It produces showy pink flowers in the summer to fall.

The plant needs regular watering, but should not be over watered, as this can lead to root rot. It is a deciduous plant so it will lose its leaves during the winter months. It is a somewhat spiny, but attractive plant. For colder regions, it is recommended to grow Acanthus in a pot and move them indoors once it gets too cold to leave the plant outside. In these cases the plant should be placed in a south-facing window and watered regularly.

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