is a genus of flowering plants from the Acanthaceae family, which comprises 30 species. They come from tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World, the majority coming from the Mediterranean region and Asia. Common names for it include Acanthus and Bear's breeches.
Acanthus are perennials. They are grown in large border or as feature plants in an island bed. Acanthus, once established, will take over the border, making it difficult to clear the ground for other plants.
Acanthus bear white and mauve or purplish flowers. Size varies from 40 cm, up to 2 m tall. The leaves are dark green. They need full sun to flower well. The Acanthus flower spikes are often dried for use in dry flower arrangements.
Acanthus grows well in full sun to partial shade, in fertile and well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed in spring, division in spring or autumn, root cuttings in winter. The plant is is usually trouble free but can be affected with powdery mildew.
C T Johansson