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Plectranthus fruticans0.jpg
Plectranthus fruticosus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Ocimeae
Genus: Plectranthus

Many, see text


Ascocarydion G.Taylor
Burnatastrum Briq.
Capitanya Gürke
Dielsia Kudô
Englerastrum Briq.
Germanea Lam.
Holostylon Robyns & Lebrun
Isodictyophorus Briq.
Leocus A.Chev.
Neomuellera Briq.
Perrierastrum Guillaumin
Symphostemon Hiern

Plectranthus, with some 85 species, is a genus of herbaceous perennial plants, rarely annuals or soft-wooded shrubs, sometimes succulent; sometimes with a tuberous base. Common names include spur-flower. Plectranthus species are found in Southern and Tropical Africa and Madagascar, and one in Sri Lanka.[2]

Several species are grown as ornamental plants. The cultivar Mona Lavender = 'Plepalila' [3] has received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

They are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia).[citation needed]

Recent phylogenetic analysis found Plectranthus to be paraphyletic with respect to Coleus, Solenostemon, Pycnostachys and Anisochilus. The most recent treatment of the genus resurrected the genus Coleus, and 212 names were changed from combinations in Plectranthus, Pycnostachys and Anisochilus. Equilabium was segregated from Plectranthus, after phylogenetic studies supported its recognition as a phylogenetically distinct genus.[2]


The word plectranthus derives from the Greek πλῆκτρον (plēktron), "anything to strike with, an instrument for striking the lyre, a spear point"[4] + ἄνθος (anthos), "blossom, flower".[5]


Paton et al. (2019) list 72 species:[2]

Transferred to Coleus[edit]

Species transferred to Coleus in 2019 include:[2]

Other species formerly placed in Plectranthus[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Plectranthus L'Hér". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  2. ^ a b c d Paton, Alan J.; Mwanyambo, Montfort; Govaerts, Rafaël H.A.; Smitha, Kokkaraniyil; Suddee, Somran; Phillipson, Peter B.; Wilson, Trevor C.; Forster, Paul I. & Culham, Alastair (2019). "Nomenclatural changes in Coleus and Plectranthus (Lamiaceae): a tale of more than two genera". PhytoKeys (129): 1–158. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.129.34988. PMC 6717120. PMID 31523157.
  3. ^ "Plectranthus Mona Lavender = 'Plepalila'". RHS. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  4. ^ πλῆκτρον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  5. ^ ἄνθος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  6. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Plectranthus". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on December 11, 2012. Retrieved 2011-02-17.

External links[edit]