09
Jun
2009
Acanthus mollis - Bear's Breeches
Green Pharmacy | Flowers | Magnoliopsida
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Scientific NameAcanthus mollis L. 1753
Synonim
Common name(s)– talpa ursului, acanto comune, branca orsina, brancalupo, bear’s breeches.

Distribution and Habitat– originating from south-west Europe and north-eastern Africa, grows in shady places, near forests, up to 700 m altitude.

Description– perennial herbaceous plants, 40-100 cm tall. Stem erect, simple. Basal leaves pinnate Party, leaves caulinare-fidate pinnate, toothed lobes. 90 x 30 cm, ribs obvious. Blossom panic, tubular flowers, white with red-purple points, interspersed with needle-thorny bracts. Blooms in March-July.

Growth rate– moderately fast.

Tolerances– not tolerate moisture, soil poorly drained.

Requirements– soil moist, well-drained, in full sun or light shade.

Propagation– by division in spring or autumn. By seeds, sow in spring in a cold frame, or outside as soon as the seed is ripe. Germinates in 3-4 weeks at 10°C.

Pest and Diseases– snails

Garden PartnersBuxus microphylla, Campanula poscharskyana, Cerastium tomentosum, Citrus sp., Crocus sativus, Lavandula sp., Pancratium maritimum, Rosmarinus officinalis

Cultivars

Properties and Uses– leaves can be used to treat diarrhea and intestinal bleeding.

Curiosity– Acanthus leaves were used as ornaments for the capitals of ancient Greek and Roman architecture.

Acanthus is considered the symbol of virginity, because it is a spontaneous plant that grows on land not cultivated.

Bibliography

David S. Mackenzie – Ground Covers – Timber Press, 2006

Hanneke Van Dijk – Border Plants Encyclopedia – Routledge, 1999

Nan Sinton, David Michener – Taylor’s Guide to Ground Covers – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002

Norman Taylor, Barbara W. Ellis – Taylor’s Guide to Perennials – Houghton Mifflin, 2001

Jeff Cox – Perennial Al-Stars - Rodale Press, 2002

W. George Schmid – An Encyclopedia of Shade Perennials – Timber Press, 2002

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