12 Jan 2011

Acanthus ‘Whitewater’

acanwhitewater2I have always loved plants with dramatic, bold foliage, so it should come as no surprise that when I noticed this stunning beauty on my order forms, I jumped fast! I’ve been growing two other species, both A. mollis [which is borderline hardy in my Z5 garden] and A. spinosus which has become a perennial favourite. Acanthus ‘Whitewater’ is destined to cause a stir. Not to be confused with A. ‘Tasmanian Angel’ whose variegation is similar but not as dramatic!
With its striking, deeply lobed and cut foliage that is heavily splashed with white, this stunner will eventually form a sizable clump 1.5-2m in width and is topped with 1.5-2m tall flower spikes that glow an incandescent pink for most of its bloom period. It is tolerant of most soils, preferring a somewhat lean, gravelly soil with sharp drainage. While it prefers full sun, I have successfully cultivated its less dramatic cousins in a partly shaded garden setting. This will make a most dramatic container planting for me, as its Z7-10 hardiness leaves me no choice but to bring it in and protect it throughout our harsh Canadian winter. It represents my first ‘Zonal Denial’ selection for 2011! A word of caution: This is yet another plant that resents too much movement, and usually rewards you with a kazillion seedlings if even an iota of rhizome is left behind. Of course for some of us, this is music to our ears.
Full sun to part shade. Zone 7-10. Spread: 1.5-2m wide by approximately same height.
Coming to LittleTree Horticulture in 2011.


danger garden said...

So nice to see you in the blogosphere again! Now as for this Acanthus...WOW...it's definitely the diva of the garden isn't it!?

Garden Plants said...

We have just taken delivery of Acanthus Whitewater at the nursery, if anyone would like to buy this it can be bought through www.floraselect.co.uk mailorder

Marie said...

Sure enough, I have been to Littletree and brought my zone denial Acanthus home.
Last year it was Ceratostigma willmottianum 'My Love' that I wintered over and is now outdoors again.
Each Fall I take cuttings from my Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum' and keep them under lights for the following season. They too are back in the garden as of yesterday.