Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
Usually found near old settlements, in partial shade and along riverbanks.
Perennial herb to about 120 cm, with thick roots. Petiole usually 10-50 cm on leaves arising from the root crown, much shorter (2-5 cm) on leaves arising from vertical stem. Leaves variable, but usually dark green and with several lobes. White flowers with pink, purple or brownish veins are produced on the central tall spike, these mature first at the bottom of the spike. Seeds are produced in individual capsules 3-4 cm long.
Easily distinguished by the large divided leaves and the distinctive flower head.
October, November, December, January, February, March, April
November, December, January, February, March, April, May
Primarily escapes from cultivation by vegetative spread, although seed is viable. Dispersed by gravity, water and birds. Root fragments grow easily and once established this plant can be hard to eliminate from a site.
Reason for introduction
Can tolerate moderate shade, but flowers best in at least partial light.
acanthus: From the Greek ákantha ‘thorn’