acanthus (n.)

type of tall herb or shrub native to the Mediterranean regions, 1660s, from Latin acanthus, name of the plant, from Greek akanthos, from akē "point, thorn" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce") + anthos "flower" (see anther). So called for its large spiny leaves. A conventionalized form of the leaf is used in Corinthian capitals. Related: Acanthaceous.

Origin and meaning of acanthus

updated on September 13, 2022