Bear's Breeches

Also known as:
Bears Breeches, Bears Foot
S.W. Europe

General description

Herbaceous perennial, in clumps <120 cm height, with thick roots. Leaf stalk 10-50 cm on leaves from the root crown, much shorter (2-5 cm) on leaves on vertical stems. Large shiny dark green leaves, shape variable, usually several lobes. White flowers with pink, purple or brownish veins on central tall spike. Flowers mature first at the bottom of the spike. Flattened seeds in individual capsules 3-4 cm long.

It is widespread in gardens and has naturalised in some coastal areas, along roadsides and in riparian areas.

Seed spread via gravity, water and animals, and the plant can also spread vegetatively from root fragments.

Can form dense infestations under forest canopy and in dry, sandy conditions, suppressing regeneration of other species.

Site management

Recommended approaches

1. This species is included because it is one of the species to be researched in the 2007-2012 Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy.
2. Dig out scattered plants (all year round)

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMS status

Species to be researched (not a Pest Plant) - Whole Region
bear's breeches - Main species image