Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Acanthus L., Sp. Pl. 639 (1753)
Vernacular Name(s):
Bear's breeches

Perennial herbs or shrubs. Stems simple, erect. Lvs mostly radical, pinnatifid to pinnatisect; margins sometimes spiny. Fls strongly zygomorphic, arranged in dense spike-like infls. Bracts large, spinose-dentate; bracteoles entire. Calyx 4-lobed; upper and lower lobes larger, sometimes spine-tipped; lateral lobes very small. Corolla 1-lipped (only lower lip present); lip 3–5-lobed; tube short. Stamens 4, included; filaments thick and prominent; anthers fused in pairs, 1-celled, often white-villous. Ovules 2 per cell. Style shortly 2-lobed. Capsule oblong or ovoid, 4-seeded.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]

Number of species in New Zealand within Acanthus L.
Exotic: Fully Naturalised1
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.