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Worcestershire, United Kingdom Gb

Does anyone know what this plant is? We saw it at Newstead Abbey, Notts and it looks like an excellent ground cover plant which keeps its glossy leaves all winter. There was a stalk growing out of the leaf cluster, complete with ladybird. Pictures taken on 17/12/11. Any tips on how easy to grow and where to get one?

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It's Acanthus mollis. It is the plant that was used for the design of the top of Corinthian columns in ancient architecture. It likes sun or part shade and is impossible to get rid of once you have it. The best way to propagate it is to try and dig it up!! Every piece of left over root will sprout into a new plant! Think carefully where yu place it. However it is attractive and easy to grow.

5 Jan, 2012


Many thanks and food for thought! Could it be grown in a pot or would it 'escape'? We thought it would look nice on the patio in winter.

5 Jan, 2012


Yes, I think it would. It has very thick fleshy white roots and it doesn't really 'escape' it just cannot be 'evicted'!! It flowers best in sun but the leaves are a lovely shiny bonus in shade, less likely to flower there.

5 Jan, 2012


Thanks for your advice - much appreciated. I'm new to this site and it looks a good place to learn (I'm no expert). I may even set up a little blog on my garden adventures as I've now stopped full-time work and for the first time in my life I have some time to 'play'. Gardening is so absorbing. You don't have to be good at it to enjoy it and there are always expert folk around to help.

5 Jan, 2012


Remember, though, that this plant is an herbaceous perennial and only semi evergreen - that means, in a cold winter, the leaves will disappear completely. Recommended container size is 12-16 inches wide by the same deep.

5 Jan, 2012


I can send you one if you send me your address in a private message. (click on my avatar and on my home page you will see the option for sending messages) But beware, they have very deep but quite brittle roots and spread like nobody's business. I have been digging one out for two years now on and off. No problem in a pot though.

5 Jan, 2012

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