Bear's Breeches 'Tasmanian Angel'

Acanthus mollis

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acanthus (a-KANTH-us) (Info)
Species: mollis (MAW-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Tasmanian Angel



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Calistoga, California

Carpinteria, California

Eureka, California

Vista, California

Cordele, Georgia

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Bothell, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 27, 2015, 00264167 from herne bay,
United Kingdom wrote:

Weak plant.
Ive never had any problem with acanthus spinosus (apart from the usual summer mildew) but Tasmanian Angel limps along; it grows a few leaves, they die back for no apparent reason, it grows a couple more, then they die back and it keeps going on like that.

Its also slower growing than a.mollis and its leaves go brown and crispy if it gets too much sun or wind (even though i have it in a relatively protected area).

I think the fact that its slow growing combined with the sensitivity to wind/sun and perhaps even soil fungus's mean its a weak grower in all but the perfect growing conditions.

This has been my experience with it in a 3 litre pot over 2 years; the root system however looks healthy so maybe it will fare better in the... read more


On Aug 2, 2009, imapigeon from Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Sadly, this plant didn't make it for me. I planted it in June of '08 in a big pot in a shady corner with a banana. I don't know if it was the winter cold or the early spring heat wave we had, but it finally gave up the ghost in June of '09. It never did very well, but even the couple of leaves it had were gorgeous. It was expensive, too, so I was even more sorry to lose it!
The plain green ones are in everybody's neglected garden around here, so I can only assume the variegated one is less hardy.


On Jun 7, 2009, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

I just purchased this plant at Edelweiss Perennials after seeing it in bloom there. What a spectacular plant. The owner of the garden told me it does best if left in a pot, and suggested I move mine from its current one gallon to a two gallon next spring. He said it will hold in a two gallon for a couple of years and, ultimately end up in a five gallon.

The foliage is stunning and the pink flower spikes combined with the fabulous foliage will light up any shady corner. This is the most stiking shade plant I have seen to date.