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This variety is accepted, and its native range is Eritrea to N. Tanzania, Arabian Peninsula Indian Subcontinent to S. Central China.
Coleus barbatus


Suddee, S., A. J. Paton, & Parnell, J. (2004). A Taxonomic Revision of Tribe Ocimeae Dumort. (Lamiaceae) in Continental South East Asia II. Plectranthinae. Kew Bulletin, 59(3), 379-414. doi:10.2307/4110950

Tropical East Africa, West Asia, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, South China and Thailand.
On rocks in open places in forest, in bamboo forest, alt. 500 - 2100 m. Flowering & fruiting all year round.
Morphology General Habit
Suberect or ascending annual or short-lived perennial herbs up to 50 cm tall
Morphology Leaves
Leaves subfleshy, ovate-lanceolate, 30 - 110 x 15 - 50 mm, apex acute, base cuneate or attenuate and decurrent on petiole, margin serrate-crenate, pilose with sessile glands both sides, veins prominent beneath; petioles 10 - 30 mm long, pilose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens united for about half their length, included in anterior corolla lip
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx campanulate, 3 - 4 mm long at anthesis, 6- 8 mm long in fruit; posterior lip ovate, acute or acuminate at apex, margin shortly ciliate, decurrent on tube, shortly pubescent on both sides, with sessile glands outside, nerves prominent inside; anterior lip with teeth subequal, lanceolate, ± equal in length to posterior; tube 10-nerved, pubescent, with sessile glands outside, hairs denser at tube base, with a ring of dense white hairs inside throat, not saccate at anterior base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla purple, 10 - 20 mm long; posterior lip sparsely pubescent, with sessile glands on back, median lobes rounded at apex, much larger than the minute acute lateral lobes; anterior lip ovate-oblong, 5 - 12 mm long, concave, glabrous inside, sparsely pubescent with sessile glands outside; tube 5 - 8 mm long, sigmoid below the middle, gradually dilated towards base, widely expanded at throat, glabrous outside
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Disc
Disc with anterior side obtuse at apex, exceeding ovary
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style bifid with equal branches, slightly longer than anterior stamens
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Nutlets black, globose, c. 1 mm in diameter, smooth, shining, not producing mucilage when wet.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence terminal, simple, up to 30 cm long; axis hirsute, with sessile glands; verticils clearly interrupted, 5 - 25 mm apart; cymes sessile, 3 - 4- flowered; bracts sessile, caducous, ovate-lanceolate, 5 -8 x 7- 12 mm, cuspidate, ciliate, pubescent; pedicels 3- 4 mm long at anthesis, 4- 5 mm long in fruit, pubescent
Morphology Stem
Stems branched, sometimes rooting at nodes, quadrangular or round- quadrangular, sparsely to densely hirsute, with sessile glands
The specimens studied belong to the smaller variety, var. barbatus. The very large variety, var. grandis (Cramer) Lukhoba & A. J. Paton, is cultivated and sometimes naturalised in tropical east Africa and Sri Lanka (Lukhoba & Paton 2003). Plectranthus forskohlaei Willd., a basionym of Briquet's name was a superfluous name for Ocimum hadiense Forssk. = Plectranthus hadiensis (Forssk.) Schweinf. ex Sprenger.
Illustration in Bot. Rep. 9: t. 594 (1809), based on a plant cultivated in England, raised from seed sent from Abyssinia by Lord Valentia (lectotype illustration!); Epitype: Eritrea, Dekemhare, 5 Sept. 1954, Colville 47 (K, epitype chosen by Ryding in 1999).

Native to:

China South-Central, East Himalaya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nepal, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, West Himalaya, Yemen

Introduced into:

Cape Provinces, St.Helena

Coleus barbatus var. barbatus appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Ellenbeck [743], Somalia Plectranthus pseudobarbatus K000431895 Unknown type material
Kew Gardens [s.n.], Ethiopia Plectranthus pseudobarbatus K000431896
Pereira, B.A.S. [283], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930693
Buzato, S. [s.n.], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930700
Lindeman, J.C. [2522], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930715
Glaziou, A.F.M. [20938], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930706
Glaziou [10570], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930709
Gardner, G. [4506], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930691
Mimura, I. [441], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930705
s.coll. [s.n.], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930699
Glaziou [8637], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930710
Usteri [53], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930702
Hoehne, W. [13193], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930694
Mimura, I. [441], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930704
Irwin, H.S. [5342], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930697
s.coll. [15], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930687
s.coll. [174], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930686
Regnell, A.F. [I 85], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930689
Glaziou, A.F.M. [20939], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930707
Burchell [4071], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930701
Hunt, D.R. [6641], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930698
Arbo, M.M. [3954], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930688
Nicolack, V. [60], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930716
Regnell, A.F. [85], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930692
Glaziou, A.F.M. [7596], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930712
Gardner, G. [4506], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930690
Reitz [3513], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930714
Sellow [s.n.], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930696
Claussen, P. [s.n.], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930713
Dusén, P. [10353], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930717
Riedel [82], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930695
Porto, P.C. [5776], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930711
Dusén, P. [s.n.], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930708
Weir, J. [283], Brazil Coleus speciosus K000930703

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Lambdon, P. (2012). Flowering plants & ferns of St Helena: 1-624. Pisces publications for St Helena nature conservation group.
  • Mosti, S., Raffaelli, M. & Tardelli, M. (2012). Contributions to the flora of central-southern Dhofar (Sultanate of Oman) Webbia; Raccolta de Scritti Botanici 67: 65-91.

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© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

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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.

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