Acanthus polystachius Delile

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Acanthus polystachius

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

Acanthus polystachius

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

Acanthus polystachius

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Acanthus pubescens (Oliv.) Engl.
Common names: Prickly acanthus (English)
Frequency: Rare
Status: Introduced
Large, vigorous, shrub-like perennial herb, up to several metres tall. Leaves large, oblong-elliptic, the coarsely undulate-dentate margins set with sharp prickles. Flowers in terminal spikes, bright pink.
Notes: Det. from named specimens in SRGH. An occasional escape on roadsides and other disturbed areas around Harare; usually not far from gardens.

The name has been updated in line with the treatment of Acanthus in FZ.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In grassy areas, e.g. on roadsides
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania.
Zimbabwe distribution: C
Growth form(s): Shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Maroyi, A. (2006). Preliminary checklist of introduced and naturalized plants in Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(2) Page 193.

Other sources of information about Acanthus polystachius:

Our websites:

Flora of Zambia: cultivated Acanthus polystachius
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Acanthus polystachius

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Acanthus polystachius
African Plant Database: Acanthus polystachius
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Acanthus polystachius
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Acanthus polystachius
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Acanthus polystachius
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Acanthus polystachius
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acanthus polystachius
JSTOR Plant Science: Acanthus polystachius
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Acanthus polystachius
Plants of the World Online: Acanthus polystachius
Tropicos: Acanthus polystachius
Wikipedia: Acanthus polystachius

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Acanthus polystachius., retrieved 8 June 2023

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