Coleus Lour.

Coleus affinis (Gürke) A.J.Paton

This species is accepted, and its native range is Rwanda to E. Tropical Africa.


Lamiaceae (Labiatae), A.J. Paton, G. Bramley, O. Ryding, R.M. Polhill, Y.B. Harvey, M. Iwarsson, F. Willis, P.B. Phillipson, K. Balkwill, C.W. Lukhoba, D.F. Otieno, & R.M. Harley. Pycnostachys, G Bramleyshaped. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Lectotype, see Bruce in K.B. 1939: 587 (1940): Kenya/Tanzania, east shore of Lake Victoria, Fischer 499 (B†, lecto.)
Morphology General Habit
Annual or short-lived perennial herb, to 1–2 m tall, somewhat woody below
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, branching, quadrangular, pubescent with short downward-pointing eglandular hairs and red sessile glands
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite, sessile; blades linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, (4.5–)9–25 × 1–3.5 cm, margins with small serrations, apex acute to shortly acuminate, base narrowing gradually to the stem, with yellow and red sessile glands and pubescent with short stiff eglandular hairs, the hairs rather more plentiful on the venation beneath and on younger growth
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence dense, robust, when in flower forming a narrow conical shape, in fruit 75–115 × 30–33 mm; bracts subtending entire inflorescence narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 15–70 mm long, acute to acuminate, enclosing buds then becoming deflexed in flower, pubescent with short eglandular hairs, persistent through flowering stage; bracts subtending single flowers linear to lanceolate, 6–10 mm long, pubescent with short eglandular hairs, conspicuously ciliate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx with tube ± 1.5 mm long at anthesis, outer surface with red sessile glands, inner surface with 0.5 mm long rounded-triangular scales present between calyx lobes, these with eglandular hairs; lobes 5, subulate, 6–8 mm long, glabrous at the apex, with long eglandular hairs nearer the base; fruiting calyx with tube 5–6 mm long, ventrally compressed at the throat then gibbous, the dorsal surface longer than the ventral creating a slight hood over the mouth, lobes ± straight or with a slight curve, (7–)10–13 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla pale blue, 13–15 mm long, with scattered short eglandular hairs; tube very narrow and parallel-sided for ± 5 mm, then curving sharply downwards and broadening for ± 3 mm before opening out into two lips; posterior lip much shorter than anterior, 2–3 mm long; anterior lip ± 6 mm long, 3–3.5 mm deep
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens connate for ± 2 mm, barely exserted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets ± 1.5 mm long.
Open grassland; steep hillside of fire-induced woodland with Protea, Cussonia, Vitex,
Combretum under a dense canopy; old cultivations and hillsides; 1150–1750 mLeast concern: quite widely distributed around Lake Victoria and likely to be favoured by disturbance.
Pycnostachys speciosa is closely related to both P. deflexifolia and P. ciliata. It is the most robust of the three species, especially its fruiting inflorescence, but shares its large corolla with P. ciliata, as opposed to P. deflexifolia that has a much smaller corolla. The species are vegetatively similar and share conspicuously ciliate bracts, but P. deflexifolia and P. speciosa lack a sterile extension to the inflorescence, a character apparently unique to P. ciliata.
Range: Rwanda Flora districts: U4 K5 K6 T1

Native to:

Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Coleus affinis (Gürke) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Dec 3, 1938 Pycnostachys speciosa K000405976 Unknown type material
Dec 3, 1938 Pycnostachys speciosa K000405977 Unknown type material
Tanner, R.E.S. [752], Tanzania Pycnostachys speciosa 17454.000
Bally, P.R.O., Kenya Pycnostachys speciosa 2778.000
Fischer [499] Pycnostachys speciosa K000405979 Unknown type material
Stuhlmann [4693], Tanzania Pycnostachys speciosa K000405978 Unknown type material

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 13 (2019)

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.


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • 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.

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. 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 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.