Just when I think I have something figured out, my plants conspire to prove me wrong. My Acanthus spinosus, the one with the spiky leaves (and the one I was convinced was the more vigorous and hardy) has yet to produce any flowering stalks this year. Pictured is Acanthus mollis in its first year in its new home in the woodland garden. What a grand show it is putting on. It is said to spread rather aggressively, but that will be fine by me, as long as it resists overtaking the ‘Swallowtail’ columbine down in the right corner and the Rhododendron ‘Dazzle’ on the left.
Hi Ricki, I am in love with this plant, but was always unsure which one might live here. Your mollis is wonderful, and does seem to be the better choice? Confusing, isn’t it? 🙂
Really nice! I love woodland plants.
Frances: I always thought I liked the spinosus better because the flowers are more purplish and the leaves are more interesting (to me…and maybe to dangergarden) but everything just came together on this one this year.
Wendy: A new voice…I love it! The woodland gets most of my attention this time of year because it is cooool in there.
My Acanthus mollis has just finally started to spread after 4 years. There is a small offshoot plant sending up a few leaves and a bloom spike. Not what I would call aggressive…but then we all have different growing conditions I guess. Yours is a beauty!
What a difference the soil makes:
Himself hates the A. spinosis with an unusual passion. We needed ten years to get rid of it. It would keep coming up in unexpected places, complete with huge flowerstalks.
Maybe that is the secret: Say out loud that you don’t want it, and it will be there next summer 🙂
Joco: Hmmm…I think you might have a point there. Plants oftem seem almost as contrary as cats.