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Coarse basal foliage in combination with striking flower spikes add an intriguing element to the landscape. Spiky bicolor white and purple blooms typically appear in mid-summer, from June to August.
Prefers a well-drained site; suffers in poorly draining soils. Plant in full sun (in cooler climates) to partial shade. In northern climates, heavily mulch plants to protect against winter injury. Deadhead flowers once it has finished blooming to keep foliage looking good. Propagated through seed, root cuttings or division. Benefits by division every three to five years in spring. When being divided, fleshy root fragments may be left behind and will grow into new plants. No serious pest or disease problems, but may have slug and snail problems.
Warning: Due to its spreading underground root system, this plant can become invasive, especially in the West. Native Indians from Mexico used local herbs for different occasions and symptoms. The herb Bear’s Breeches (Acanto) have a common name in Spanish, (ala de angel). Native Indians used the Bear’s Breeches, against first degree burns. How it can be used is to cut fresh leaves and rinse them with clean water. Apply the leaves on to the affected area. If the burn is severe have the leaves crushed to a pulp and then apply the paste very softy on to the affected area. Bear’s Breeches leaves can be used for bruises. Put 10 grams of leaves of fresh leaves in a gallon of water and boil. Drink the water in a normal matter during the day, preferably it should be drank hot. These herbs were used by the native it should be drunk hot. These herbs were used by the native Indians from Mexico and all herbs and application should always be consulted from a doctor.