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This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Tanzania to 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

Typus: Zambia, Mbala [Abercorn] District: Kawimbe, Richards 7288 (K!, holo.)
Morphology General Habit
Strongly aromatic shrub 0.3–1.7 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems ascending or procumbent with inflorescence axis erect, rounded-quadrangular, branching, woody or slightly fleshy, sometimes reported as brittle, pubescent with antrorse hairs below, antrorse and patent glandular and eglandular hairs and pale sessile glands above, more densely glandular on inflorescence axis and with hairs denser at nodes
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ascending, sessile or shortly petiolate; blades elliptic to obovate, 1.5–3.5 × 0.7–2.5 cm, serrate, apex obtuse, base cuneate to attenuate, pubescent, with pale sessile glands; petioles0–6 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence lax with 8–16-flowered verticils up to 35 mm apart with bracts subtending sessile or shortly circinnate 4–8-flowered cymes; bracts narrowly ovate, cuspidate, 2–6 mm long, erect above forming an inconspicuous terminal coma, deflexed or deciduous below, pubescent on margins and abaxial surface, glabrous or much less densely hairy on adaxial surface; pedicels 6–12 mm long, spreading, slightly curved and slightly flattened
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 3–5 mm long, pubescent, with pale sessile glands; fruiting calyx 7–8 mm long, tubular, constricted towards throat, curved with pedicel attaching excentrically behind posterior lip; posterior lip obovate, curving upwards, shortly decurrent; lobes of anterior lip lanceolate, ± equal or with the median lobes slightly narrower; lateral lobe midway between the posterior and anterior lobes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla blue or purple-blue, 15–20 mm long, pubescent on lobes and tube, with pale sessile glands and some darker glands on anterior lip; tube 5–7 mm long, arcuate, dorsally gibbous at bend; posterior lip much shorter than anterior lip; anterior lip 12–15 mm long, strongly cucullate, enclosing stamens or stamens just exserted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal filaments fused
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown shiny with reddish dots, broadly ovoid, flattened, 1.5 mm long, producing lots of mucilage speckled on outer surface.
Brachystegia woodland, sandy soil or among rocks, rarely recorded from tall grassland; 950–1800 m
Least concern; widely distributed; (Omitting Angolan populations: EOO 198648km2, 12 collections from 12 localities; AOO 55264 km2 with cell width 88.85 km, number of cells 7, 4 subpopulations based on adjacent cells; 3 subpopulations based on Rapoport distance)
P. decimus differs from P. buchananii in being a shrub rather than a suffrutex with annual stems arising from a woody rootstock. Also the stems of P. buchananii are leafless at flowering, unlike P. decimus. The calyx is slightly constricted towards the throat in P. decimus to a greater degree than in P. buchananii.
Range: Angola and Zambia Flora districts: T4

Native to:

Angola, Tanzania, Zambia

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

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Richards, H.M. [7288], Zambia Plectranthus decimus K000431998 holotype

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 38 (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 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.