Acanthus mollis is a handsome, architectural perennial sporting tall foxglove-like flower spikes during late summer.
Numerous white flowers are each topped by their own purple petal-like structure known as a 'bract'.
This delightfully delicate structure gives the flowers an appealing purple hue and contrasts effectively with the large glossy lobed leaves at its base.
Acanthus mollis hails from the Mediteranean and is one of the oldest cultivated plant species. You may know it as a decorative motif from Corinthian columns or the designs of William Morris.
The name Acanthus mollis derives from the Greek word Akantha (thorn) referring to the sepals and spiny leaves of some species and mollis (smooth) referring to its smooth glossy leaves.
And, perhaps because of its long tap roots, it also symbolises immortality.
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