Botanical Name: Acanthus mollis
Common Name: Acanthus, Bear's Breech  
Plant photo of: Acanthus mollis
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Water Saving Tip:

Replace turf with groundcovers, trees, and shrubs. If you have areas where no one uses the grass, patches that do not grow well, or a turf area too small to water without runoff, consider replacing the turf with water-efficient landscaping.

  • 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



Medium, High


Growth Rate



Soil Type



Soil Condition



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
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 spikes are usually seen in late spring to summer and then into fall. This shrub is beautiful in the shade.
Planting Instructions: 1. Dig a hole 2 times the width and 1 and 1/2 times the height of the container. 2. Set rootball just above ground level. 3. Mix soil with 25% amendment and %75 soil. 4. Backfill with amended soil. 5. Build basin and water.