Acanthus - sennii - Care Guide

Caring for Acanthus sennii

This is a new introduction to the Burncoose website and needs a separate care article of its own. Acanthus mollis and Acanthus spinosus are well known and totally hardy (if not also thuggish and invasive) herbaceous plants requiring little care and attention except to contain them. A. mollis originates from SW Europe and A. spinosus from Italy to Turkey.

Acanthus sennii is native to Ethiopia and is a small to medium sized shrub of considerable rarity in the UK. It can be an attractive ornamental feature in a coastal garden if grown in the correct manner.

It needs a warm, sheltered, sunny and well drained site. Large banks of these plants thrive in the municipal gardens of Falmouth. In a coldish winter A. sennii may die back to ground level but, if given a thick protective mulch, it will readily reshoot.

Propagation is straightforward, as with all species of acanthus, the roots can be chopped and split in winter or early spring to generate new plants.

A. sennii has purplish-black stems and strikingly attractive holly like leaves. These are pale green when young with standout silvery-white veining and very spiny edges. The tongue-like flowers are a bright orange-red and are borne in spiky racemes from late summer into autumn.

 

Acanthus_sennii small click for larger image
Acanthus_sennii small
Acanthus_sennii small click for larger image
Acanthus_sennii small
Acanthus_sennii small click for larger image
Acanthus_sennii small
Acanthus_sennii small click for larger image
Acanthus_sennii small


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