Some species of Plectranthus are difficult to identify because of a lack of clear-cut morphological criteria to discriminate not only among species within the genus but also among the closely related genera. This has resulted in numerous taxonomic problems in the naming of species with the result that species have often been placed in several closely related genera like Coleus, Solenostemon and Englerastrum. In addition, some species formally placed in Plectranthus, are now recognized as the more distantly related genus Isodon.
Because of these taxonomic issues, different names have often been used for the same species of Plectranthus and thus it has been difficult to collate information about the ethnobotanical uses of this genus. Furthermore, the most commonly used medicinal species of Plectranthus have a high degree of synonymy[
This report is very much indebted to the work of C.W. Lukhoba et al. - Journal of Ethnopharmacology 103 (2006) 1-24[
] in untangling much of this mess of names, and utilizes the on-line Kew database ‘World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (http://wcsp.science.kew.org/home.do) for determining currently accepted names and synonyms (as of 2018).
Plectranthus manganjensis Baker
Plectranthus nyikensis Baker
Plectranthus pubescens is a branched, decumbent to ascending, perennial plant with several more or less woody stems arising from a woody rootsrock; the plant usually forms a clump around 30 - 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
East tropical Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique
Deciduous woodland, often among rocks, sometimes at forest edges or along roadsides; at elevations from 1,200 - 1,900 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
The plant is aromatic[
The plant is used in the treatment of rheumatism and depression[
Seed - sow in well-drained soil, covering lightly with a thin layer of sand, and place in a warm but shaded spot. The seed germinates in about three weeks[
Cuttings of Plectranthus species generally root easily - soft tips root faster than semi-hardwood growth. The cuttings are best taken 60 - 100mm long with three or four nodes, making the cut just below a node. Place them in sand, perlite, vermiculite or peat, or any mixture of these, keep them moist and shaded and they should root in 2 - 3 weeks[
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