NAME: Bear's Breeches
OTHER COMMON NAMES: Spiny Bear's Breech / Oyster Plant
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Acanthus Spinosus
COLOR: Reddish Purple & White
PLANT SEEDS: Outdoors after frost / Indoors weeks before last frost / Fall
BLOOM TIME: June - Aug
HARDINESS ZONE: 5 - 9
PLANT HEIGHT: 3 - 4'
PLANT SPACING: 2 - 3'
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Sun - Part Shade
SOIL & WATER PREFERENCES: Average - Moist
QUANTITY: 10 Seeds
OTHER: Bear’s Breeches are a lovely statuesque garden perennial that is as loved for as its foliage as it is for its flowers. Hailing from the Mediterranean (southern Europe), it has been popular in the US since its introduction here in the 1800s, but is often difficult to find in garden centers.
The plant’s glossy dark green foliage grows in a neat clumping / mounding habit that reaches roughly about 2’ tall, sending its exquisite flower stalks to soar above at heights of 3 - 4’. Bear’s Breeches thistle-like leaves are very spiny & prickly, making them a great “security plant” to grow under windows or anywhere else you’d like to deter foot traffic. Lol. It also makes the plants deer & rabbit resistant.
This lovely ornamental has a very long bloom period, blooming for a full 3 months over the summer. The bicolor hooded flowers will attract bees & butterflies to your garden. By fall, the flowers will have turned to seed pods that are equally interesting, & Bear’s Breeches dried spikes with their seed pods are prized for use in dried arrangements.
While technically rated for sun to part shade, we have some growing here in Ohio in full shade that perform just as well. From my experience, they are not picky about soil type, & are able to withstand periods of drought easily.
This particular species, Spiny Bear’s Breeches (acanthus spinosus), is more cold hardy than the common Bear’s Breeches (acanthus mollis) & also has more deeply cut leaves. The flowers have no discernible difference, but the seeds of the 2 species are distinctly different in appearance.
I suppose by now it’s quite obvious that I have a great affection for this unique beauty, but in case you’d like a second opinion, it is also a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit winner :)
* Visit the flower department of our store for more rare selections including the Red Yucca, Nepal Lily, or Elegant Pink Fairy Lupine! *
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Mar 18, 2020
I'm excited to plant it. Great customer service and fast shipping. Thank you!
Jan 7, 2020
Very pleasant transaction. Lightning fast shipping, generous quantities and excellent packaging. Highly recommended seller.
Apr 14, 2019
Fresh seeds. High germination rate.