Name

Acanthus

Latin

Acanthus mollis

Secret Meaning

Art

Alternative Names:

Facts & Folkore:

Native to much of the Mediterranean, its name is derived from the greek word for thorn; referring to the thorn-bearing sepals. Its large leaves appear in many ancient sculptures, especially on the top of Greek Corinthian columns and has been a favorite motif for artists since.



The Roman writer Vitruvius (c. 75 - c. 15 BC) related that the Corinthian order had been invented by Callimachus, a Greek architect and sculptor who was inspired by the sight of a votive basket that had been left on the grave of a young girl. A few of her toys were in it, and a square tile had been placed over the basket, to protect them from the weather. An acanthus plant had grown through the woven basket, mixing its spiny, deeply cut leaves with the weave of the basket.

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