What does acanthus mean?
The definition of acanthus
A*can”thus, n.; pl. E. Acanthuses, L. Acanthi.
Etym: [L., from Gr. Acantha.]

1 (Bot.)
A genus of herbaceous prickly plants, found in the south of Europe, Asia Minor, and India; bear’s-breech.
2 (Arch.)
An ornament resembling the foliage or leaves of the acanthus (Acanthus spinosus); — used in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders.