It’s no coincidence that this leaf is the motif I used on all of my wedding stationery. Hailing from the eastern Mediterranean, acanthus spinosus is a bold perennial plant that blooms in June through July, with fleshy, scalloped leaves. From antiquity, the statuesque posture of its leaves has inspired wide-spread representation in every area of design and the decorative arts, from wall and ceiling mouldings to the crowns on Corinthian capitals. From the 18th Century onward it has been an iconic and incredibly popular motif in architecture, furniture, and metalwork.
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An illustration of an acanthus spinosus‘ purple blooms and glossy dark-green leaves. Image via Desert-Tropicals.