Acanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae, native to tropical and warm temperate regions, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean Basin and Asia. Common names include Acanthus and Bear's breeches. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ακανθος (acanthos), meaning "thorny."
The genus comprises herbaceous perennial plants, rarely subshrubs, with spiny leaves and flower spikes bearing white or purplish flowers. Size varies from 0.4 to 2 m (1.3 to 6.6 ft) in height.
Selected species 
Cultivation and uses 
Several species, especially A. balcanicus, A. spinosus and A. mollis, are grown as ornamental plants.
Acanthus leaves were the aesthetic basis for Corinthian capitals; see acanthus (ornament).
External links 
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Acanthus". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.