Not a weed

It took me a few days of computer searching before I finally discovered the identity of this “weed” that persists in growing in my yard. Google’s image search kept trying to tell me it was fritillaria, or digitalis, or even a marijuana bud! In fact, the name of this plant is Acanthus spinosus — though it also goes by the curious name of bear’s breeches.

Because they look a bit like spiny thistles — and because I can never seem to get rid of them — I always thought of them as weeds. Now I find out they are originally from the Mediterranean regions and have a very long history, even figuring in ancient Greek and Roman culture. Perhaps I should start learning to love these dramatic and stubborn plants!

2 Comments »

  1. We actually planted these in our front yard over 10 years ago. First saw them in Golden Gate Park in SF. Be careful, this plant spits out a brown seed with a very loud “pop”. This is how it reproduces.

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