Bear's Breech 'Summer Beauty'


Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acanthus (a-KANTH-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Summer Beauty



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Manhattan Beach, California

Sanger, California

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Portland, Oregon

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Carrizo Springs, Texas

Lexington, Virginia

Mountlake Terrace, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 3, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This hybrid is a big, highly architectural perennial with beautiful bold foliage. Allow enough room for it to make its presence known. It will take several years to reach its full size.

The flower bracts have sharp spines, but the leaves are smooth and unarmed.

Two plants planted last June survived the winter, somewhat milder than usual, and are doing well. One is sending up a bloom stalk.

Active vegetative growth is in spring. Here near its hardiness limit, it should be planted in spring to allow it to establish before winter comes.

Most easily propagated by inserting a spade vertically through the edge of the root ball in autumn. The root cuttings will make new plants.

The common name is "bear's breeches".


On Feb 5, 2011, jentay from Carrizo Springs, TX wrote:

I bought a Bear's Breech when I lived in Austin, Texas. It grew wonderful there. I had to move about a year later to Carrizo Springs, Texas so I dug it up and transplanted it in the ground and it never missed a beat. It is growing beautifully down here. We had a terrible Artic Blast that lasted 4 days. the temperature stayed in the teens and 20's. I was afraid to look out my door to see how it weathered, low and behold it was still green, just wilted from the strong winds and lack of moisture. Watered it and seems to be ok! I wished I had 10 more of these beautiful plants.


On Apr 2, 2010, plantsonthepoint from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

When in Rome for a weekend in early May I saw a multitude of these plants growing all along the hillsides surrounding the Coliseum. In mass they were spectacular. I think these would do well as a replacement for cycads where the latter are not hardy. In architectural form and strength of presence these perennials are well deserving of a home in any garden.

I have not, myself, grown this plant; all retailers charge more than I make in two hours, (my budget for any plant not over four feet in height.) I will continue to search for an affordable specimen, though, as this striking plant has a permanent spot near the top of my 'must have' list.

---Keith L.


On May 10, 2008, DebinSC from Georgetown, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Wonderful specimen plant or mixed with ferns and hostas. In my zone,(8) it needs mostly shade, as it wilts after a couple of hours of mid-day to afternoon sun. Perks right back up with a bit of water, though. Over winter's just fine with protection when there's heavy frost.