For those interested in architecture and specifically classical Greek columns, you might have wondered where the header detailing of the ‘leafy’ Corinthian column comes from.
In the third row of the above image, take a closer look at the decoration below the scrolls.
You’re looking at Acanthus mollis (Bear’s Breeches), a gorgeous groundcover shrub for semi-shaded positions, with spectacular flowering stems. An ancient plant and a talking point in your garden.
Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns can be seen on many Neoclassical buildings (especially grand institutional ones), like the State Library or Art Gallery of NSW. The next time you’re in front of a grand Neoclassical facade, have a look up for the Corinthian detailing and see if you can spot the Bear’s Breeches. You might be lucky at the Australian Museum in College Street, Sydney or even in the rose garden in Sydney’s Centennial Park.