Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bear's Breeches

Now that conjures up some weird and wonderful images, doesn't it ?
It's actually the common name of this plant:

This is Acanthus mollis. It's displaying a glorious mound of foliage at the moment, quite unusual for late December. Acanthus mollis was originally introduced to Britain by the Romans, but was then lost to cultivation and reintroduced in 1548. I was introduced to it many years ago whilst watching Geoff Hamilton on TV. The programme was about his move to Barnsdale, and how he intended to remove all the existing plants in his new garden, to start afresh. But there was one plant that he intended to keep. Yes, you've guessed it, it was an acanthus.

I grew several plants from seed, and dotted them about the garden, all in shady areas. They took years to grow, but one by one, most of them produced flowers, although not every year. I have since discovered that they flower best in full sun. Oh well, back to the drawing board.


  1. Oh, us gardeners are always learning something! But they must have been happy for you to grow them from seed. Pretty foliage. I'll have to look this one up!

  2. Good to see you were inspired by the Gardening Which article as well, but you have done much better than I have so far.
    I had Acanthus Mollis in my garden, and they flowered well, and I ended up with thousands of seedlings all over my quite small garden, so be careful what you wish for.
    Love the pictures