Some gardeners like variegated plants, some hate them – and this new variegated acanthus is probably more likely to split opinion than most plants.
Found in a garden in Tasmania, tested in Oregon and propagated by tissue culture for distribution around the world, it is available for the first time this year in Britain. It’s the first variegated form of good old, dependable bear’s britches, Acanthus mollis, that I’ve seen.
‘Tasmanian Angel’ has the usual bold rich green foliage but in spring each leaf emerges with a broad and irregular creamy yellow border which becomes white as the foliage enlarges and matures. Then as the mound is looking its most dramatic bold upright spikes of pale pink flowers emerge. Click on the images to see more detail.
Less vigorous than the normal green leaved species - which is no bad thing – plants will still reach 90cm/3ft wide while those extraordinary flower spikes will stretch to 1.2-1.5m/4-5ft. A little shade will help prevent scorch.
Acanthus mollis ‘Tasmanian Angel’ is available from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.