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Genus: Acanthus

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid I > Order: Lamiales > Family: Acanthaceae

One species is naturalised and four species are cultivated, including Acanthus mollis (Bear's breech), a common garden plant (see picture right). Acanthus pubescens occurs as a garden escape along roadsides in Harare, but this is possibly not yet sufficient for it to be classified as a naturalised species.

Species naturalised to southern Africa

List from Flora of Zimbabwe.

Acanthus polystachyus

Recorded from Zimbabwe, where it is an occasional escape in disturbed areas around Harare.


Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Acanthus mollis (Bear's breeches)

Native from Portugal to Serbia.

Acanthus mollis (Bear's breech)

Acanthus pubescens

Native from Portugal to Serbia. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Acanthus sennii

Native to tropical Africa.


Acanthus spinosissimus

Native from Italy to Turkey.



  • Retief, E. & Reyneke, W.F. 1984. The genus Thunbergia in southern Africa. Bothalia 15, 1 & 2: 107-116.


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