Hardy, herbaceous perennial
Description: Pure white flowers with purple-shaded bracts on 3' stalks in late summer; shiny, dark green, deeply lobed foliage
Habit: Grows 4' high and 3' wide, clump forming
Culture: Prefers full sun to partial shade and deep, moist, well-drained, humus-rich woodland loam
Hardiness: Cold hard to USDA Zone 7
Attributes: Attracts bees
This elegant Mediterranean perennial was first documented in Italian gardens by 1548 but was grown much earlier by the Romans and Greeks. The bold leaves of this species inspired the architectural crown of Corinthian columns. It was not likely common in America, however, before the mid 19th century. The British garden writer William Robinson revived interest in the Acanthus by extolling its virtues in his classic book, The Wild Garden, 1870. New Jersey nurseryman Peter Henderson admired both Acanthus mollis and A. spinosus as "stately and remarkably beautiful ornamentals" in his Handbook of Plants, 1890. Large, dramatic flowers are attractive to bees.
Arrives in a 1 quart pot.