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Bear's Breeches

Acanthus mollis

Brank ursine, Common bear's breech, Soft-leaved bear's breech, Bear's breech, Wilde rabarber (Afr.)

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Known for its bold clumps of shiny green leaves topped with striking spires of flowers which are clasped by showy purple bracts, Bear's breeches is a great addition to any temperate garden. An eye-catching structural element in a part-shade border, it also makes a good ground cover plant in a Mediterranean or cottage garden. It is striking ornamental plant with traditional medicinal applications, bringing flair and grace to your garden.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

To harvest flowers, cut the flower at the height of bloom and hang upside down in a cool, dark place to dry. If dried correctly they will hold their colour well and will last about a year before browning. Harvest seeds in late winter.

Propagation

Tubers
Usually propagated from tubers and tend to form large, localized clumps which can survive for several decades.
Seed
Sow seeds in spring. Germinates in 3 - 4 weeks.
Cuttings
Take root cuttings in late autumn or early winter and keep moist.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Insects such as bees and bumble bees.
Drought resistant
It is tolerant of drought.

Geography

Origin
Mediterranean region.
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Gravel, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Personality

Family
Acanthaceae
Flower colour
White, lilac and rose., Burgandy, White
Scent
Mild

Problems

Pests include snails. Diseases include powdery mildew, fungal and bacterial leaf spot.
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew
Erysiphaceae

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