Plectranthus punctatus lanatus
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).
Coleus aquaticus Gürke
Coleus edulis Vatke
Coleus palustris Vatke
Coleus rivularis Vatke
Coleus tuberosus A.Rich.
Majana richardiana Kuntze
Plectranthus edulis (Vatke) Agnew
Plectranthus punctatus edulis (Vatke) A.J.Paton
Coleus clivicola S.Moore
Coleus fimbriatus Lebrun & L.Touss.
Plectranthus fimbriatus (Lebrun & L.Touss.) Troupin & Ayob.
Common Name: Gala Dinich
Plectranthus punctatus edulis is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a tuberous rootstock.
The plant has a long history of cultivation as a food crop in the Ethiopian Highlands[
]. It is also harvested for local use as a medicine.
Tropical Africa - Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania.
Mountainous regions, 1,800 - 2,100 metres.
Root - cooked[
]. Rich in starch[
Leaves - cooked[
]. The leaves are quite aromatic[
The plant is used in the treatment of digestive and respiratory complaints[
Seed - surface sow and seal the pot in a plastic bag until germination takes place - this is usually within 2 weeks at 20°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out when 25cm or more tall.
Division. Harvest the tubers in the autumn after the top growth has died back, store them in a cool but frost-free place over winter and plant them out in spring.
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