Acantha was a nymph loved by Apollo, the sun god. Acantha however refused Apollo’s love and scratched his face. Apollo got furious. His punishment was turning her into a beautiful plant with spiny leaves; ACANTHUS.
In ancient times acanthus plants were planted around homes with the belief they protected people from evil. Stone carved acanthus leaves can be found on column heads for the same reason.
This plant, also believed to be the secret to a long life, was used in architecture, in various reliefs, sculptures, ceramics, glass, metal work, wall paintings and mosaics.