Smith County Master Gardener
If you want a real wow factor in your garden, I mean a bold architectural statement, plant an Acanthus mollis or Bear’s Breech. The ancient Romans thought so much of this plant they used Acanthus leaves to adorn the Corinthian columns of their magnificent buildings.
Acanthus is an easy plant to grow and a shade lover. Some morning sun or dappled sun, in other words, bright shade is what it prefers. Rich moist soil that retains moisture is perfect. I tried growing one in my dry sandy soil and had to water it constantly.
Now why on earth would someone name this truly magnificent plant Bear’s Breech or Bear’s Breeches? It seems the soft hairy leaves and stalks reminded ancient Europeans of a bear’s rump. I won’t argue since we aren’t that familiar with bears’ rumps.
I do think a better name could be fastened to this lovely.
Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about plants growing in Tyler Rose Garden.