Closely related to Plectranthus parviflorus[
Coleus barbatus (Andrews) Benth.
Coleus coppinii Heckel
Coleus dazo A.Chev.
Coleus esculentus (N.E.Br.) G.Taylor
Coleus floribundus (N.E.Br.) Robyns & Lebrun
Coleus forskohlii Auct.
Coleus langouassiensis A.Chev.
Englerastrum floribundum (N.E.Br.) T.C.E.Fr.
Plectranthus floribundus N.E.Br.
Common Name: Livingstone Potato
Livingstone potato is a perennial plant growing around 1 metre tall.
The plant is cultivated in some parts of tropical Africa for its edible tubers[
Tropical Africa - Nigeria to the Central African Republic and DR Congo, south to Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Tanzania and Mozambique..
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 28°c, but can tolerate 10 - 36°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 700 - 1,100mm, but tolerates 550 - 1,600mm[
Prefers a light, rich, well-drained soil and a position in full sun or light shade[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7, tolerating 6 - 7.5[
The tubers are ready to harvest about 6 - 7 months after planting[
Yields of 2 - 6 tonnes per hectare have been obtained[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. Much esteemed by native peoples[
]. Whilst the tubers are usually cooked, at least one cultivar (from northern Nigeria) has tubers that can be eaten raw[
]. The tubers are about 10cm long and 2cm in diameter[
The Livingstone potato is an aromatic herb that affects heart contractions and blood clotting[
A traditional treatment in India, the herb is used to treat a wide range of digestive problems including, wind, bloating and abdominal discomfort[
]. It has an antispasmodic action, making it valuable in the treatment of respiratory complaints, including asthma and bronchitis[
The plant contains the substance forskolin[
]. Research has shown that forskolin has various medical properties including: it lowers high blood pressure; it relaxes the smooth muscle; it increases the release of hormones from the thyroid gland, it stimulates digestive secretions; and it reduces pressure within the eye[
]. It has been under scientific investigation as a possible treatment for congestive heart disease, glaucoma and chronic bronchial disease[
The leaves have a strong camphoraceous aroma and are used as a body rub to cleanse and deodorize the skin[
Seed - not normally used for propagation[
Cuttings about 10 - 20cm long[
]. They can be difficult to root[
Division of sprouting tubers[
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