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This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Tropical Africa to Uganda and NE. Angola.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Labiatae, J. K. Morton. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

Morphology General Habit
A woody perennial herb of savanna swamps, 4-5 ft. or more in height
Morphology General Indumentum
Dull ochrey-pubescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Pale blue flowers arranged in dense cylindrical spikes.


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. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Type: Sierra Leone, Freetown, Scott Elliot 5033 (K!, holo.)
Morphology General Habit
Shrub to 2.5 m tall, not reported as aromatic
Morphology Stem
Stems erect, quadrangular, sparsely branched, densely pubescent with antrorse and patent eglandular hairs and with red sessile glands
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ternate below, opposite above, rarely scattered, discolorous, petiolate; blades narrowly ovate to oblong, (4–)6–12 × (1.1–)2–5 cm, crenate, weakly revolute, apex acute, base cuneate, densely pubescent on veins beneath and with red sessile glands, sparsely pubescent above; petiole 1–2 cm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Infloresence dense, spike-like, with adjacent verticils touching; verticils ± 30flowered, composed of opposite, very shortly pedunculate or sessile ± 15-flowered cymes; bracts ovate, apiculate, 5–8 mm long, imbricate, totally obscuring flower buds when young and forming an apical coma, deciduous before anthesis; pedicels up to 1 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 3 mm long at anthesis, densely pubescent, with red sessile glands; fruiting calyx 5–7 mm long, tubular, slightly constricted at throat, with pedicel attached excentrically behind the posterior lip; throat truncate; posterior lip oblong, acute at apex, not decurrent, horizontal, hooded, much longer than anterior lobes; anterior lobes deltate, sinus between anterior lobes sometimes deeper than that between anterior and lateral
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla purple, 8–12 mm long, pubescent, with red sessile glands; tube 4–7 mm long, sigmoid; posterior lip vertical, shorter than anterior lip; anterior lip 4–5 mm long, horizontal, deeply cucullate, enclosing the stamens
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal filaments fused at base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets pale brown with reddish gland dots, ovoid, flattened, 1–1.5 mm long, very slightly mucilaginous
Fig 53: 8, 9, p 309
Wet grassland, swamp and stream margins; 1200–1500 m
Least concern; widely distributed
Range: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Angola and Zambia Flora districts: U2 U4

Native to:

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre

Coleus engleri (Briq.) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 1957 Hepper, F.N. [1187], Nigeria Leocus africanus K000509507
Schlechter, F.R.R. [12469], Congo, DRC Leocus africanus K000405620
Scott Elliot, G.F. [5033], Sierra Leone Leocus africanus K000405622 Unknown type material
Pogge, P. [1019], Congo, DRC Leocus africanus K000405621
Darmola, L. [28984], Cameroon Briquetastrum africanum 17436.000
Hepper, F.N. [1649], Cameroon Briquetastrum africanum 6420.000
Gossweiler, J. [14035], Angola Plectranthus africanus K000508579

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 44 (2019)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. Scientific Data 8: 215.


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Jongkind, C. (2014). Fauna & Flora of Liberia, flowering plant species list
  • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical 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 2021. 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 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.