Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bear's breeches (Acanthus mollis) in Hastings

In Victoria Road in the Ore area of Hastings, East Sussex, I came across this splendid plant of bear's breeches (Acanthus mollis).

The plant appeared to be self-sown and is clearly in abundant health.

Bear's breeches is a Mediterranean plant whose leaves, or that of Acanthus spinosa, are often considered to source of the acanthus leaf designs on architecture and furniture. Although an alien - it looks like an alien too - it is naturalised in parts of the West Country and judging by vigour of the plant above it might be about to start doing well in Sussex.

Why the plant is called 'bear's breech' I have been unable to discover: others may be able to enlighten me.