Friday, June 17, 2011

Grecian Pattern/Bear's Breeches

Notice Bear's Breech underneath the Bougainvillea.
Fans of the mighty Gunnera who live in Tucson are truly saddened that they cannot grow this giant beauty in our landscape.  The closest plant that I've found that looks similiar to the Gunnera is the Grecian Pattern or Bear's Breech plant.  It's lush and green with a STRONG root system.  It likes bright and sunny shade but will not grow well in full shade.  I made the mistake of placing this plant in full shade and it almost died on me, but the roots were so strong that it made a comeback.  Today it gets some sun and is doing well.  Make sure it gets regular water.
This is Gunnera but forget about growing it here unless you have a conservatory.  This pic taken in Costa Rica.
In some areas, this plant can be invasive but here in Tucson, it makes a nice and lush statement in a pot or planter.  It can tolerate morning sun but protect from the strong afternoon light.  The leaves will burn.  It will dieback to the ground in winter, but come back up in spring. It can get 6 to 8 feet tall and just as wide if given the room. This plant is hardy from Zones 7 to 9a.  It has a purple/white flower in late spring and is listed as drought tolerant.   I have this plant in my pot collection with other tropicals like the Datura and Caladium.  It acts as the "Filler" in my tropical theme of "Thriller, Filler, Spiller" More tropicals on the way....
Here is the combo I used in early spring.  The Bear's Breech or Grecian Pattern is on the lower right side of the pot.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rohrerbot,
    It makes a refreshing change to see Acanthus mollis used architectural way, rather than just clumped in a herbaceous border. It works really well with the bourganvillea and doorway.


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