Thursday, August 1, 2013

Acanthus sennii, yes…this is my favorite plant in the garden (this week)…

I’ve loved the Acanthus sennii in my front garden for years now even though it never gets much more than 7” tall each season (currently it's only 4"). Earlier this spring I picked up another (a friend had asked me to be on the look-out and while grabbing her one I thought “what the heck” I probably need another one too) and wow…its gone crazy!

It’s my fav this week because I’ve been enjoying watching it react to the sun and heat to protect its tender new growth. Here’s a close up taken early in the morning.

And here’s the same plant later that afternoon.

The super dark stems are pretty cool too...

And of course I have to mention the spikes!

I wonder if mine will ever reach the proportion of the plants I saw at the Chelsea Physic Garden last September?

Here's the plant description from Cistus Nursery: A most unusual species from the highlands of Ethiopia, a shrub to 3 ft or more with silvery green leaves to about 3" wide, ruffle edged and spined, and spikes of nearly red flowers in summer and autumn. Full to part sun; medium or better drainage; and summer water in dry places. The tops are frost hardy into the low 20s °F, dying back but resprouting with vigor to at least the low teens, lower USDA zone 8, and even lower with mulch.

And the short but sweet description from Dancing Oaks Nursery: With dark green spiny leaves (perplexing to non plant addicts) and exotic vermillion red fall flowers on 4 foot stems you'll find a place for this Ethiopian native. 

So I have to ask, what is your favorite plant in your garden right now?

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

39 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You probably need it! Right?

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    2. Haha, how did you know??!! ;)

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  2. Love this one, even if it is still pretty small! I have a feeling I could get it to survive winter here with mulch, as I've had Ruellia that is supposedly only hardy to z8 overwinter in three separate places in my garden (came back from the roots two years in a row). Our last two winters have been pretty mild, but last winter had some pretty severe but short cold spells.

    The point is, I might be willing to try this beauty!

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    1. I know Cistus has them, and you know they'll be happy to ship you plants!

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  3. Oh wow! that is stunning! Those dark stems are absolutely amazing! Whats the plant directly behind the acanthus in the first photo ... a protea of some sort?

    my weekly fav is agastache 'summer sunset' :
    http://parallel49palms.blogspot.ca/2013/07/the-weekly-fav.html

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    1. I think the one you're asking about is Alstroemeria isabellana, another featured fav: http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2013/07/alstroemeria-isabellana-my-favorite.html

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    2. yup, that'd be the one. stunning!

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  4. That is a spiky plant! I love the way it closes up. That pink and white center looks like an alien mouth with lots of fangs. My favorite this week is Echinacea 'Hot Papaya,' which you can read about here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-right-now.html

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    1. Oh yes Alison I can see the "alien angle'!"

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  5. This does appear to be one of the ultimate spiky plants!

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    1. Here's my favorite plant of the week posting:
      http://rainydaygardener.blogspot.com/2013/08/ann-folkard-geranim-my-favorite-plant.html

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    2. Thanks for joining in the "fav fun" Jenny! I like that your fav is just a bit of a thug.

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  6. The one you got for me is behaving equally well, and has been vying for "favorite" status the last two weeks. The red-orange petals were a pleasant surprise. I left my link on your Lila post, but guess I'd better repeat it here: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/3246
    Now I'll go back and amend that post to direct traffic here.

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    1. I kinda had hoped we'd both post about this plant as a "fav" at the same time. Ah well, I'd still love to see pictures of your at some point.

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  7. Never saw this plant before. It's beautiful! But I think I'm not allowed to grow it in our garden because of the spikes. (my family would hate me xD )

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    1. Couldn't you get away with it by planting it in an out of the way spot? Where no accidents might happen?

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  8. So cool! I love the way it protects itself from the sun. Such an Oregon thing to do, despite the fact that it's from Ethiopia.

    Here's my Favorite Plant post for this week:
    http://mulchmaid.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

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    1. Ha! Great point about it being an Oregon reaction to the sun.

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  9. I just keep on wanting your plants, here's my link http://skybaxheadquarters.blogspot.com.au/2013_08_01_archive.html

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    1. Thanks for the link Becca, I may never be able to grow it but it looks fabulous!

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  10. I love this plant too but have never seen one bloom.

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    1. I think it's gotta be a pretty rare occurrence here in the PNW, taking just the right heat and length of growing season. It gives me something to hope for though...

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  11. Nice one Loree ! I'm a sucker for red stems...here is mine this week.

    http://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

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  12. Ooh neat. I am pretty sure I have seed of this one. Just don't have the time to actually sow it. I am still in love with Glaucium grandiflorum which has been blooming almost 3 months now and must be about 8 feet across.

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    1. Every time I get Glaucium grandiflorum going in my garden and I think it's there to stay then it just disappears. So sad.

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  13. That is a cool plant and I havent heard of it before. I was wondering if it was hardy here in the UK but your photo of the Chelsea Physic Garden implies it is so I will have to look out for it.

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    1. Helen it looked amazing at the Chelsea Physic Garden! I hope you'll have a chance to see it there.

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  14. That is a very cool plant and new one to me! something for the must have list!

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    1. For sure, I bet it would be very happy in your garden.

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  15. Now that's something new to me, didn't know until now that Acanthus sennii has this mechanism!

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    1. Have you guys grown Acanthus sennii in the past?

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  16. I've never seen this Acanthus locally. I like the glossy green foliage. I hope you get a flower spike.

    I'm joining in on the favorite plants train with this post: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

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    1. Thanks for joining in the party Kris...and I am jealous of your fav!

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  17. Wow! I want it. Now, maybe I can go to Cistus and actually buy something. Every time I go there, I want everything and leave with nothing.

    Here's my favorite plant post: http://gravylessons.blogspot.com/2013/08/chinese-ground-orchid-is-my-favorite.html

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    1. Wait seriously? You go to Cistus and leave without buying anything? I didn't know that was possible!

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  18. Very cool but hot damn. Having just come inside from wrestling with the Himalayan blackberry growing in from the neighbor's and seeing it shred every other plant around it, I'm feeling a little testy about spikes. It will pass, I'm sure - I love how it closes up to protect itself!

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    1. I know spikes aren't for everyone, I'm just addicted though.

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