Coleus Lour.

Coleus scaber (Benth.) A.J.Paton

This species is accepted, and its native range is S. India.


Suddee, S. & Paton, A. 2009. A revision of Anisochilus Wall. ex Benth. (Lamiaceae). Kew Bulletin 64: 235. DOI:

Vajravelu (1990) reports the species as common in Palghat District, Kerala whereas Mohanan & Sivadasan (2002) report the species as rare in SW Ghats. However, few collections have been seen by us. Many more may well exist in regional herbaria.
India (Deccan Peninsula).
On exposed rocks; alt. 300 – 1000 m. Flowering & fruiting September – February.
Morphology General Habit
Erect or ascending annual or short-lived perennial herb, sometimes rooting at nodes, up to 0.5 m tall
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate, opposite decussate, ovate, orbicular, orbicular-obovate or obovate, 20 – 50 × 10 – 35 mm, apex acute or rounded, base rounded or obtuse, margin crenate, fleshy, scabrous-pubescent above, densely hoary tomentose with secondary veins and tertiary reticulate venation prominent, with red sessile glands beneath, lateral veins 4 – 6; petiole slender, up to 20 mm long, pubescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx ovoid, 2 – 3 mm long at anthesis, densely villous; fruiting calyx 5 – 6 mm long; posterior lip 1-lobed, ovate, deflexed after anthesis and concealing throat, prominently reticulate, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, margin ciliate; anterior lip truncate or obscurely toothed; tube ventrally saccate around the middle, constricted at throat, purplish-brown villous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla white or purplish-white, 10 – 12 mm long, pubescent with spare red sessile glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets dark brown, ovoid or ellipsoid, 0.6 – 0.7 mm in diameter
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence terminal, mostly simple, occasionally branched; spike-like head ovoid to ovoid-cylindric in bud and fruit, 10 – 45 × 10 – 12 mm, purplish when dry; peduncles long and slender, (5) 150 – 250 mm long, puberulous; bracts ovate, minute, pubescent
Morphology Stem
Stems round-quadrangular, glabrescent to pubescent, with red sessile glands, old stem glabrous
Close to Anisochilus wightii as both have similar leaf characters and have fruiting calyx with dark colour when dry but differs in having larger fruiting calyx posterior lip.
India, Deccan Peninsula, Courtallum, Herb. Wight 2520 [holotype K! (Herb. Benthamianum); isotypes E, K!].

Native to:


Coleus scaber (Benth.) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Jan 1, 2005 Wight, R. [2520], India Anisochilus scaber K000674681 isotype Yes
Jan 1, 1999 Wight, R. [2520], India Anisochilus scaber K000674680 holotype Yes

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 91 (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.

  • 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 Bulletin

    Kew Bulletin

  • 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.