Acanthus Summer Beauty

In the past year, because of damaging storms and drought, it seems my garden story has been more about failure than success.  So I’m excited to show you this cluster of Acanthus Summer Beauty, which survived March and April’s crazy temperature fluctuations to produce an amazing 15 bloom spikes.


Acanthus Summer Beauty

The group, planted near the front door to add textural interest to the green garden designed to soften a large expanse of asphalt driveway, includes three plants that have knitted together to make a handsome show.

Imported from China by Chet Tompkins of Oregon, the hybrid is believed to be a cross between A. mollis and A. spinosus. Of all acanthus species and hybrids, this one holds up best in our hot summer climate.

A close look shows the complexity of individual flowers, which have been described as “a little frog-like creature hiding under a hood (calyx) and holding up a white hanky.”


Look a little closer…

Winter or summer, everyone is curious about this plant.  It’s a beauty, don’t you think?  

This quick post, like many others in recent months, is a quick hello and goodbye.  Just home from an event in Minnesota, I’m frantically repacking for an afternoon departure for a long-planned garden tour to the Netherlands and Belgium with some of my favorite travel friends.  Hope I can post a few photos…and will plan to catch up with you soon.

Tot ziens voor nu!




16 thoughts on “Acanthus Summer Beauty

  1. Christina

    Have a wonderful trip; will the tulips still be flowering I wonder? I would cut the flowers as soon as they begin to set seed; they are very invasive.

  2. Gloria Ballard

    “Frog-like creature… holding up a white hanky.” Fun!
    Have a great trip. I have a gardening/blogging friend in Amsterdam who also lived in Belgium for a time, and I’ll alert him to your blog posts when you write about your trip.

  3. Cathy

    What an impressive plant! I have grown Acanthus before and love the foliage as much as the flowers. That description of the flowers is fun! Have a wonderful trip Marian. Safe journey!

  4. susurrus

    Your Acanthus looks to be in the best of health. I have never quite understood why it’s sometimes called bear’s britches, but perhaps that just means I’m not well enough acquainted with the right kind of bear. Travel safely and have fun!

  5. rickii

    I have several different forms of Acanthus but not that one. They are favorites for their dramatic presence and bulletproof ways.


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