|A. spinosus, San Francisco Botanical Garden|
Acanthus spinosus (spiny bear's breeches) is a species of flowering plant in the family Acanthaceae, native to southern Europe, from Italy to western Turkey. It is an herbaceous perennial growing to 150 cm (59 in) tall by 60–90 cm (24–35 in) wide. The deeply cut leaves have spiny margins, and in early summer it bears erect, 1 m (3 ft) long racemes of white flowers with maroon bracts.
It is thought that both A. spinosus and its close relative A. mollis were introduced to Britain as ornamental and herbal plants from the Mediterranean in Roman times. It has been intermittently cultivated ever since, and is now a regular feature of the herbaceous border. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- How to grow: Acanthus - Telegraph
- BBC - Gardening: Plant Finder - Bear's breeches
- RHS Plant Selector Acanthus spinosus L. AGM / RHS Gardening