Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Bears Breech

Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Bears Breech.

Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Bears Breech.

This week's Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week was Bears Breech - Acanthus Mollis.

Bears Breech is a big bold robust plant that has found its favourite spots on the islands and settled down.

It can grow up to nearly 2 meters and spread out with its large lobed shiny thorny leaves. The flower spike is massive, with up to 120 flowers. Each flower has three whitish pink petals below a purple hat. The stamens look like tiny brushes. 

Bears Breech's botanical name, Acanthus Mollis, means a plant with spines that is soft. The spines are not very alarming and the leaves are soft. More PVC than angora. It has lots of common names. The flowers look like the claws of bears or oysters so is been known as Bearsfoot and Oyster Plant. 

The flower is native to the Mediterranean dry areas. Bees that pollinate it must be big enough to be able to force their way into the flower.

Bears Breech is poisonous, but has been used in traditional medicine to heal wounds, soothe digestive problems and bring up phlegm. It is a worry when a potentially invasive plant arrives on the islands, however it is another unusual plant to look out for when on a wildflower walk.

You can listen to Liz's Wildflower Of The Week below and Liz will have a brand new wildflower for you next Wednesday at 10:30am.