Acanthus spinosus

Latin Name: Acanthus spinosus
Common Name: Bear's Breeches
Mature Height (ft): 36-48"
Mature Width: 18-24

Mature Shape

Mulch: Organic.

Plant Type: 

Flower Color: 

Flowering Season: 


Cold Hardiness: 

Heat Zone: 

Ideal Sun Conditions: 

Water Requirement: 

Soil Requirements: 


An old world Mediterranean plant best known for the acanthus leaf shape used as a basis in classical Greek and Roman designs. The plant itself takes 2 – 3 years growth before flowering. Attractive flowers with purple bracts on tall spikes to 4’. Frost sensitive, will die back in a late spring frost, but will come back. Adds architectural and textural interest.

Use in Garden

Part sun/part shade. Avoid intense afternoon sunlight in our climate. Non native. Great textural plant for a mixted border or cottage garden.


Very little maintenance is required. Once the flowers die, you may choose to deadhead or just let the dry flower spike remain. This herbaceous perennial will die back to the ground with the first hard frost in fall. Remove to compost bin in the spring, or just let it decompose where it lies.  Topdress with compost semi-annually or yearly. Bear's breeches roots can be divided in early spring. Not invasive.