Acanthus spinosus

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Acanthus spinosus L.

Acanthaceae

Life form: perennial

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   6

Moisture: dry

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: opposite
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: simple

Shape: labiate
Fruit: loculicidal capsule

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Inflorescence: spike

Petals: single
Habit: not specified

Growth form: stemless

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Lamiidae
Superordo:
Lamianae
Ordo:
Scrophulariales

Acanthus spinosus is a perennial.

Naming

Acanthus spinosus was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Acanthus spinosus is a species in the genus Acanthus which contains approximately 32 to 41 species and belongs to the family of the Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family). The type species of the genus is Acanthus mollis.

Characteristics

Growth

The perennials have a stemless growth and reach heights of 1,2 to 1,5 metres.

Leaves

Acanthus spinosus is deciduous. The green, simple leaves are opposite. They are ovate with pinnatisect margins.

Flowers and Fruits

Acanthus spinosus produces spikes of white labiate flowers from July to August.

The perennials carry ornamental loculicidal capsules.

Root System

Distribution

Acanthus spinosus is native to South Italy, Turkey, Algeria and the Balkan Peninsula.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on dry soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 8 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -23°C (USDA zone 6).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • open areas
  • rockeries
  • steppes/dry forests (usually calcareous soil)
  • woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: waterlogging, winter dampness

Uses

The recommended planting distance is 70 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 3 to 5. Suited as cut flowers and as bee pasture.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants need little to no maintenance if grown under suitable conditions.

Propagation

  • Sowing
  • Division
  • Root cuttings


Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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