[Acanthus longifolius] [Acanthus balcanicus var. hungaricus] Bear's Breeches same as [A. 'Architect']
Soft lilac-colored flowers with white lower lips, in tall spikes. Stately plants that should be given light shade. Plants produce an erect, clump-forming perennial with sometimes pale pink to soft lilac or even white colored flowers enclosed in spiny, reddish-purple bracts that are arranged in vertical rows on prominent flower spikes held up well atop the foliage. The spikes reach 3 to 4 feet (4 ft = 1.22 m) tall. Blooms from late spring to early summer. The deeply lobed leaves have a glossy green sheen and are 2-3 feet long. The clumps form an ornamental mound that usually remains attractive all season long. Plants have deep tap roots that when moved break off and can regrow into new plants.
Zones 5-10; in zone 5 cover with a thick winter mulch.
Native to the Balkans. Soak the seeds in warm water for 36 hours, Sow by covering seeds and use 64 to 72 F (72F = 22.2C) and keep moist for the first 4 weeks. If no germination, move to a colder temperature between 25 and 38 F (38F = 3.3C) for 5 weeks. Germination irregular and can be spread out over several months but many times within 10 days. Older seeds germinate quicker, with fresh seeds being prolonged germinators.