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  1. Family: Lamiaceae Martinov
    1. Coleus Lour.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Old World.


    Harley, R.M. et al. (2004). Labiatae, in The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants (K. Kubitzki, ed. in chief) VI: 167-275. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.

    Herbs or shrubs, aromatic
    Leaves simple
    Inflorescence thyrsoid, often condensed, elongate or capitulate, with cymes sessile, usually 5-10-flowered, condensed
    Bracts caducous or persistent, sometimes coloured at apex or membranous
    Calyx tubular, ventrally gibbous, slightly compressed at throat, straight or curved slightly upwards, sometimes apically deflexed, strongly 2-lipped, 5-lobed (1/4), unequal, posterior lip oblong or lanceolate, not decurrent, deflexed at throat, sometimes
    Corolla strongly 2-lipped, 5-lobed (4/1), blue or purplish, posterior lip ascending with median lobes exceeding lateral, anterior lip horizontal, cucullate; tube narrow, parallel-sided at base, curved or straight at the base, curved and dilating distally
    Stamens 4, fused at base, held over or within lower lip
    Stigma-lobes linear, often parallel
    Disc 4-lobed with anterior lobe much larger, exceeding ovaries
    Nutlets, ovoid, glabrous, flattened, mucilaginous.
    Five to six species in Western and Southern Tropical Africa.



    Native to:

    Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cabinda, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, Chad, China South-Central, China Southeast, Congo, Cook Is., Djibouti, East Himalaya, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Free State, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hawaii, India, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Maldives, Mali, Maluku, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Oman, Philippines, Queensland, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Socotra, Solomon Is., Somalia, South Australia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Tubuai Is., Uganda, Vanuatu, Victoria, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Western Australia, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Extinct in:

    Norfolk Is.

    Introduced into:

    Belize, Bolivia, Brazil Northeast, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Florida, Galápagos, Gilbert Is., Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Leeward Is., Marquesas, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, Niue, Panamá, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Seychelles, Society Is., St.Helena, Tokelau-Manihiki, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Wallis-Futuna Is., Windward Is.

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Coleus Lour. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Carr, C.E. [12041], Papua New Guinea K000897961
    Milne-Redhead, E. [3976], Angola 73048.000
    Brass, L.J. [30360], Papua New Guinea K000897960
    Brass, L.J. [32712], Papua New Guinea K000897964
    Brass, L.J. [29648], Papua New Guinea K000897965
    Womersley, J.S. [6176], Papua New Guinea K000897955
    H. [6895], Kenya 60216.000
    Schodde, R. [2875], Papua New Guinea K000897962
    McKee, H.S. [1513], Papua New Guinea K000897966
    McKee, H.S. [1738], Indonesia K000897967
    Kanis, A. [1343], Papua New Guinea K000897971
    White, K.J. [NGF10183], Papua New Guinea K000897963
    Wight, R. [Cat. no. s.n.], Tamil Nadu K001132515
    Vandenberg, J. [NGF35005], Papua New Guinea K000897956
    Henty, E.E. [NGF9853], Papua New Guinea K000897968
    Kostermans, A. [567], Indonesia K000897957
    Kostermans, A. [18636], Indonesia K000897699
    Kostermans, A. [759], Indonesia K000897700
    Giulianetti, A. [s.n.], Papua New Guinea K000897969
    Flenley, J.R. [ANU2074], Papua New Guinea K000897951
    Buderus, J. [NGF20745], Papua New Guinea K000897950
    Eyma, P.J. [3422], Indonesia K000897697
    Barker, W.R. [LAE67612], Papua New Guinea K000897958
    Bateson, G. [52], Papua New Guinea K000897953
    Bateson, G. [113], Papua New Guinea K000897954
    Gebo, A. [1605], Papua New Guinea K000897970
    Sigin, G. [107204], Malaysia K000897698
    Bulmer, R.N.H. [103677], Papua New Guinea K000897959
    Peckel, G. [8], Papua New Guinea K000897952
    Frodin, D. [NGF28419], Papua New Guinea K000897972
    Dagong bin Bakir [2745], Malaysia K000897701


    First published in Fl. Cochinch.: 372 (1790)

    Accepted by

    • Paton, A.J., Mwanyambo, M. Govaerts, R.H.A., Smitha, K., Suddee, S., Phillipson, P.B., Wilson, T.C., Forster, P.I. & Culham, A. (2019). Nomenclatural changes in Coleus and Plectranthus (Lamiaceae): A tale of more than two genera PhytoKeys 129: 1-158.

    Not accepted by

    • Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R.M., Harvey, Y.B., Iwarsson, M., Otieno, D., Balkwill, K., Phillipson, P.B., Harley, R.M. & Willis, F. (2013). Flora Zambesiaca 8(8): 1-346. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Plectranthus.]
    • Paton, A.J., Bramley, G., Ryding, O., Polhill, R., Harvey, Y., Iwarsson, M., Willis, F., Phillipson, P., Balkwill, K., Lukhoba, C., Otiend, D & Harley (2009). Lamiaceae (Labiatae) Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-430. [Cited as Plectranthus.]
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (2006). Flora of Somalia 3: 1-626. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Plectranthus.]
    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Plectranthus.]
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne. [Cited as Plectranthus.]


    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Lamiaceae Key Genus Fact Sheets
    Nina Davies, Gemma Bramley and Don Kirkup, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew