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 Acanthus subsp. var.  Bear's breeches
Acanthus mollis
Habit: [[Category:]]
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
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Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Acanthaceae > Acanthus var. ,

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Acanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae, native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the Roman World, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean Basin and Asia. Common names include Acanthus and Bear's breeches. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ακανθος (acanthos), meaning "thorny."[1]

The genus comprises herbaceous perennial plants, rarely subshrubs, with spiny leaves and flower spikes bearing white or purplish flowers. Size varies from 0.4 to 2 m in height.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Acanthus (akanthos, thorn). Acanthaceae. Bear's Breech. A genus of twenty species of temperate Old World, mostly hardy herbaceous perennials of vigorous growth and broad pinnatifid foliage, suitable for backgrounds of borders and subtropical effects.

Height 3-4 ft.: spikes 1-1 1/2 ft. long; fls. dull white to rose or purplish, sessile, spicate, densely clustered; corolla 1-lipped, the lip 3-lobed; anthers 1-celled, ciliate. Mostly S. Eu.

They need a rich, light, well-drained soil and much sunshine. Excessive moisture is fatal, especially in winter and spring. Fall-planted stock should always be protected for the winter by long litter or evergreen boughs, even where established plants are hardy. Must be deeply mulched north in winter. Propagation is by division in spring or early autumn, and by seeds.

It is supposed that acanthus leaves afforded the suggestion for the foliage decoration on the capital of the Corinthian and other columns. Fig. 85 shows the conventionalized decoration, and Fig. 86 the form of leaf of A. spinosus. The leaves of A. mollis were probably also involved in variations of decoration.CH

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