is a Acanthus 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 derives from the Greek term for the Acanthus mollis, ἄκανθος, akanthos, a plant that was commonly imitated in Corinthian capitals.  
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 [ edit ]
Acanthus balcanicus Heywood & I.Richardson (Syn. Acanthus hungaricus (, Borbás) Baenitz Acanthus longifolius ) Host
Acanthus dioscoridis Willd.
Acanthus ebracteatus ; This species occurs in South Asia, including Brunei Darussalam, China, South Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. In Australasia it is found in northeast Australia, northwest Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Vahl
Acanthus eminens ; native to tropical Africa C.B.Clarke
Acanthus hirsutus Boiss.
Acanthus ilicifolius ; native to India and Sri Lanka L.
Acanthus mollis ; native to Mediterranean Europe L.
Acanthus montanus ; West and Central African species, from Ghana in the west to Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. T.Anders.
Acanthus pubescens ; Thomson ex Oliv. Alternative name for A. polystachyus (EOL.org) 
Acanthus polystachyus ; native to Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania. Delile
Acanthus spinosus L.
Acanthus syriacus Boiss. 
Cultivation and uses [ edit ]
Several species, especially
, A. balcanicus and A. spinosus , are grown as A. mollis ornamental plants.
Acanthus leaves were the aesthetic basis for capitals in the
Corinthian order of architecture; see acanthus (ornament).
References [ edit ]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
External links [ edit ]
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). " Acanthus". (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. Encyclopædia Britannica