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This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania and Angola.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


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

Types: Zambia, Fwambo, Carson 64 & 79 (K!, syn.)
Morphology General Habit
Perennial suffrutex with one or few stems arising from a small spherical or more elongated or moniliform tuber, 0.5–1 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems ascending or decumbent, quadrangular, usually unbranched, sometimes rooting at base, upper part often leafless, densely pubescent with short antrorse or patent hairs and red sessile glands
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ascending, sessile; blades spathulate or narrowly obovate, 2.5–11 ×1–3 cm, serrate or dentate with deltate teeth, weakly revolute, apex acute, base attenuate, often with attenuate base sharply distinct from a reflexed, ovate terminal portion, giving the appearance of an ovate petiolate leaf, densely pubescent or tomentose, with red sessile glands or glandular-punctate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence dense, spike-like, purplish, with adjacent verticils touching; verticils 6–12-flowered, composed of opposite, shortly pedunculate or sessile cymes; cymes becoming more lax with more obvious internodes in fruit; bracts ovate, apiculate, 3–7 mm long, imbricate, totally obscuring flower buds when young and forming an apical coma, deciduous before anthesis; pedicels 1–3 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 3–4 mm long at anthesis, purplish, densely pubescent, with red sessile glands; fruiting calyx 5–9 mm long, tubular with pedicel attached excentrically behind the posterior lip; throat truncate; posterior lip lanceolate, not decurrent, similar in form to anterior lobes but longer; anterior lobes lanceolate, lateral longer than median, sinus between anterior lobes deeper than that between anterior and lateral
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla deep purple, 12–14 mm long, pubescent, with red sessile glands; tube 6–10 mm long, sigmoid; posterior lip vertical, shorter than anterior lip; anterior lip 6–7 mm long, parallel to posterior lip, deeply cucullate, enclosing the stamens
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal filaments fused at base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets pale brown, ovoid, flattened, 1–1.5 mm long, with reddish gland dots arranged to give appearance of longitudinal ridges, very slightly mucilaginous
Fig 39: 1, p 238 & 53: 1–3, p 309
Seasonally flooded grassland, swamp margins; 1150–1500 m
Least concern; widely distributed
Range: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Congo-Kinshasa, Angola and Zambia Flora districts: T1 T4 T7

Native to:

Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

Coleus betonicifolius (Baker) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2011 Chishala [19], Zambia Plectranthus betonicifolius K000249955
Jan 1, 2011 Smith [1830], Zambia Plectranthus betonicifolius K000249956
Kassner, T. [2555], Congo, DRC Plectranthus betonicifolius K000431861 Unknown type material
Carson, A. [64], Zambia Plectranthus betonicifolius K000431992 Unknown type material
Nutt, W.H. [s.n.], Zambia Plectranthus betonicifolius K000431994 Unknown type material
Milne-Redhead, E. [4205], Angola Plectranthus betonicifolius K001008919
Carson, A. [79], Zambia Plectranthus betonicifolius K000431993 Unknown type material
Bidgood, S. [5390], Tanzania Plectranthus betonicifolius K000190620
Baum, H. [544], Angola Plectranthus betonicifolius K000431990
Carson, A. [s.n.], Zambia Plectranthus betonicifolius K000431991 Unknown type material

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 26 (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

  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • 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.

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 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.