|Scientific name:||Acanthus syriacus Boiss.|
|English name:||Syrian bear's breech|
|Hebrew/שם עברי:||Kotsitz Suri, קוציץ סורי (Bible: charûl,חרול)|
|Arabic/الاسم العربي:||Kaff al-Deb, Shawk al-Jamal, كف الدب,شوك الجمل|
|Life form:||Hemicryptophyte, a perennial plant having its overwintering buds located at the soil surface|
|Leaves:||Opposite, rosette, dissected, pinnate, dentate or serrate, spinescent|
|Inflorescence:||cyme, raceme, Spike: Unbranched, elongated, indeterminate inflorescence with sessile flowers|
|Flowers:||Flower spikes bearing purplish flowers|
|Plant height:||40 - 180cm|
|Flowering Period:||March, April, May|
|Habitat:||Garrigue and batha (or phrygana), soft-leaved scrubland|
|Distribution:||Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon|
Derivation of the botanical name:
Acanthus, acantha, ακανϑα, thorn, thistle; "ake," a sharp point, a genus of plants belonging to the natural order Acanthaceae.
syriacus, from Syria.
Bear's breech, from the size and appearance of the leaf which is very big, broad, and distinctly hairy.
The Hebrew word:קוציץ, kotzitz from Greek akantha, a thorn. It should be noted that the name refers to the thorns of the bracts, and not all species have thorny bracts. Most members of the family are not thorny.
The species are natives of the southern parts of Europe and the warmer parts of Asia and Africa. The best-known is Acanthus mollis, a common species throughout the Mediterranean region, having large, deeply cut, hairy, shining leaves.
And they made the foot appear like ivy growing out of the stone, interwoven with akanthus and surrounded with a vine which encircled it with clusters of grapes, which were worked in stones, up to the top of the foot.
"Now the first invention of that capital is related to have happened thus. A girl, a native of Corinth, just of marriageable age, was attacked by an illness and passed away. After her burial, her nurse, collecting a few little things which used to give the girl pleasure while she was alive, put them in a basket, carried it to the tomb, and laid it on top thereof, covering it with a roof-tile so that the things might last longer in the open air. This basket happened to be placed just above the root of an acanthus. The acanthus root, pressed down meanwhile though it was by the weight, when springtime came round put forth leaves and stalks in the middle, and the stalks, growing up along the sides of the basket, and pressed out by the corners of the tile through the compulsion of its weight, were forced to bend into volutes at the outer edges. Just then Callimachus, whom the Athenians nick-named 'catatechnos' for the refinement and delicacy of his artistic work, passed by this tomb and observed the basket with the tender young leaves growing round it. Delighted with the novel style and form, he built some columns after that pattern for the Corinthians, determined their symmetrical proportions, and established from that time forth the rules to be followed in finished works of the Corinthian order".
Corinthian capital of Vitruvius with acanthus leaves