acanthus(redirected from bears-breeches)
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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.