acanthus


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

acanthus

(əkăn`thəs), common name for a member of the Acanthaceae, a family of chiefly perennial herbs and shrubs, mostly native to the tropics. A few members of the family, many of which have decorative spiny leaves, are cultivated as ornamentals—especially the Mediterranean acanthus, or bear's-breech (genus Acanthus), whose ornate leaves were the source of a stylized motif used in Greek and Roman art (see Corinthian orderCorinthian order,
most ornate of the classic orders of architecture. It was also the latest, not arriving at full development until the middle of the 4th cent. B.C. The oldest known example, however, is found in the temple of Apollo at Bassae (c.420 B.C.).
..... Click the link for more information.
). In Christian art the acanthus symbolizes heaven. Some species of the genus Ruellia are native to and cultivated as ornamentals in North America, chiefly in the South. Acanthus is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information.
, class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariacles.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Acanthus

A common plant of the Mediterranean, whose leaves, stylized, form the characteristic decoration of capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders. In scroll form it appears on friezes and panels.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Acanthus

 

a genus of herbs and, more rarely, bushes of the Acanthaceae family.

Acanthus leaves usually form a rosette and are very large, simple, often pinnately cut, sinuate, and prickly. The blossoms of the dense top circle are usually white, red, or light blue; the bracts are large, prickly, and dented.

There are about 40 species of the acanthus in the warm regions of Asia, in Africa, and in the Mediterranean area. The acanthus is often grown for decoration in the southern USSR. The shape of the leaves of the Acanthus molis, Acanthus spinosus, and Acanthus syriacus is used as ornamentation in Corinthian and Composite capitals, moldings, and acroterions, and in the ornamentation of friezes and cornices.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

acanthus

[ə′kan·thəs]
(architecture)
A sculptured ornamentation representing the leaves of an Acanthus, a Mediterranean prickly herb.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

acanthus

acanthus
A common plant of the Mediterranean, whose leaves, stylized, form the characteristic decoration of capitals of Corinthian and Composite orders. In scroll form it appears on friezes, panels, etc.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

acanthus

1. any shrub or herbaceous plant of the genus Acanthus, native to the Mediterranean region but widely cultivated as ornamental plants, having large spiny leaves and spikes of white or purplish flowers: family Acanthaceae
2. a carved ornament based on the leaves of the acanthus plant, esp as used on the capital of a Corinthian column
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
To book this hotel, search Acanthus on jet2holidays.com.
A second reception room, with more views of the garden, has the original pitch pine floor and fire grate, while in the third reception - currently used as a study - you'll find the ceiling surrounded by an acanthus leaf border and the window and door frames decorated by carved lion heads.
Acanthus spinosus, sometimes called bear's breeches, is extraordinarily successful due to its ability to regenerate from every fragment of its thick, fleshy roots.
The fresh plants Clerodendron inerme, Acanthus ilicifolius was collected from in and around Bharathiar University Campus, Coimbatore, India.
Procedure: Corinthian columns typically have sculpted leaves of the acanthus plant at their tops, or capitals.
September 4 - Ottakar's, Kirkcaldy, 1pm; Talk, Acanthus, Edinburgh, 7pm.
A sense of subdued drama functions in many of the works, in fact, often expressed in terms of contrasts in shape and color or among light and dark objects, in Socks, 1998, and in A Dead Acanthus Leaf with a Lily, 1999.
Acanthus Leaves features a stylized acanthus leaf motif surrounding a central lattice design.
The wild acanthus Copies a capital In green, supplying thorns To a site as reckless as sand Where visitors late in the day Erase this morning's footprints.
ACANTHUS PHOTO ALBUM: This linen-covered photo album with foil stamp detail is adorned with a stylish acanthus print.
Living Room Makeover valued at more than $5,000, presented by O'Reilly's Furniture & Acanthus Design.
Last week Phil Taylor from Kent asked why his acanthus, which was under a red robin, kept developing powdery white dust on its leaves.