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This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to S. Tropical Africa.
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

Type: Ethiopia, Jomara [Dschomara], Schimper II. 847 (K!, holo. BR!, G!, W!, iso.)
Morphology General Habit
Aromatic soft-wooded herb, 1–3 m tall
Morphology Stem
Stems ascending or scandent, sometimes rooting at nodes below, leafless in flower, branching and with scattered elongated lenticels, subglabrous or with adpressed hairs below, becoming pubescent above with short patent, often bluish, glandular or eglandular hairs and with pale sessile glands; inflorescence axis viscid
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ascending or spreading, petiolate; blades ovate, 5–9 × 2–6 cm, serrate, weakly revolute, apex acute or acuminate, base cuneate, attenuate at petiole, densely to sparsely pubescent, with pale sessile glands; petiole 5–10 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence axillary, with 6–10(–14)-flowered verticils up to 20 mm apart,with bracts subtending 3–5(–7) flowers, though often only 1–3 persist to maturity, arranged in opposite sessile cymes one of which is often more floriferous; bracts ovate, 1–2 mm long; pedicels 3–5 mm long in fruit
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 3–4 mm long, sparsely pubescent with bluish hairs, with pale yellowish glands; fruiting calyx, 4–6(–7) mm long, shortly tubular, slightly curved with pedicel attached centrally at base of calyx; throat truncate; lobes ± equal, narrowly lanceolate, posterior not decurrent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla blue, 14–20 mm long, sparsely pubescent with hairs on lobes and with scattered pale sessile glands; tube 7–10 mm long, gibbous at bend and dilating towards the throat, sigmoid; posterior lip much shorter than anterior; anterior lip 7–10 mm long, horizontal or ascending, deeply cucullate enclosing stamens
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal filaments fused at base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets brown with darker, slightly raised speckles, ovoid, slightly flattened, 1.5 mm long, not producing mucilage.
Open areas in woodland or forest, sometimes between rocks; 1500–2400 m
Least concern; widely distributed
Range: Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Angola, Zambia and Malawi Flora districts: U1 U2 K 2/K3 K3 K 5T4 T7 T8

Native to:

Angola, Burundi, Central African Repu, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia

Coleus defoliatus (Hochst. ex Benth.) A.J.Paton appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Ash, J.W. [1412], Ethiopia Plectranthus defoliatus 35801.000
Johnston, H.H. [s.n.], Angola Plectranthus defoliatus K001008921

First published in PhytoKeys 129: 39 (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

  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(1): 1-85. ORSTOM, Bangui.
  • Hedberg, I., Kelbessa, E., Edwards, S., Demissew, S. & Persson, E. (eds.) (2006). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 5: 1-690. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • 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.