The pinkish mauve flower spikes with white interiors of Spiny Bear's Breeches look the same as those of Acanthus mollis, but the leaves look more spiny (they aren't) and the plant is more cold tolerant. This plant makes an amazing show for 2 months in the summer on the north side of our house. Best sited in part shade and well drained soil. Spinosus means spiny and comes from the stiff spines found on the margins of the leaves that resemble that of the thistle. The spiny leaves served as the pattern for the design on Greek Corinthian columns.