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Acanthus sennii

Archive entry 09.08.15
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Archive entry 12.12.21

14th June 2011

A spectacular species from Ethiopia. Where it prospers it makes a small shrub. In summer the stems are topped with long heads of bright red flowers. It is quite spectacular and has become much sought after in recent years, but a series of cold winters have caused some damage.
I was first turned on to it by a plant in the walled garden at Wisley which was astonishing for a couple of years but rather badly set back by last winter. Fortunately it has survived, and it will return to magnificence.
I bought a young plant in spring and have grown it in a very big pot in the greenhouse. I am hoping that if I can get it large enough, it will stand a better chance when it finally has to go outside. Hopefully I will also manage to root some cuttings before then as an insurance.
Large prickly leaves along the stems, which are upright outside, but have flopped a bit in the greenhouse.

6th October 2012

I still haven't had the courage to plant it out.

27th September 2013

A change of plan has seen it planted in the Agave house where it has greatly prospered in the warm dry conditions. I still plan to root cuttings and try it outside, but I am going to enjoy it under cover as well.

15th August 2015

It has felt like a long wait for flowers but at last I can enjoy them. The shrub has grown large in the protection of the Agave house, and continued in flower for several months.

9th September 2018