The name of the genus is derived from Greek "acanthos" (thorn, spine). Acanthus ornaments appear extensively in Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine capitals. The genus contains about 30 species of perennial herbs with large, spiny, lobed leaves and erect, cylindrical inflorescences of white and purple flowers, borne from spring to summer. In very dry and warm climates, the flowering period starts in late winter and the plants enter dormancy in summer.
They grow in full sun or partial shade, even in poor and dry soils.
Plant in groups, in rock gardens or in flowerpots.
Propagated by seeds, division and root cuttings in winter.
Herbaceous plant with spiny, lobed leaves. Moderately-sized inflorescences.