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Useful Tropical Plants

Plectranthus scutellarioides

(L.) R.Br.

Lamiaceae


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[
1346
Title
Plectranthus: A review of ethnobotanical uses
Publication
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 103 (2006) 1-24
Author
Lukhoba C.W.; Simmonds M.S.J.; Paton A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent guide to the uses of Plectranthus species, giving the basic uses and the literature supporting this.
].
This report is very much indebted to the work of C.W. Lukhoba et al. - Journal of Ethnopharmacology 103 (2006) 1–24[
1346
Title
Plectranthus: A review of ethnobotanical uses
Publication
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 103 (2006) 1-24
Author
Lukhoba C.W.; Simmonds M.S.J.; Paton A.J.
Publisher
 
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent guide to the uses of Plectranthus species, giving the basic uses and the literature supporting this.
] 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).

+ Synonyms

Calchas acuminatus (Benth.) P.V.Heath

Calchas atropurpureus (Benth.) P.V.Heath

Calchas crispipilus (Merr.) P.V.Heath

Calchas scutellarioides (L.) P.V.Heath

Coleus acuminatus Benth.

Coleus atropurpureus Benth.

Coleus blancoi Benth.

Coleus blumei Benth.

Coleus crispipilus (Merr.) Merr.

Coleus formosanus Hayata

Coleus gaudichaudii Briq.

Coleus gibbsiae S.Moore

Coleus grandifolius Benth.

Coleus grandifolius Blanco

Coleus hybridus Cobeau

Coleus igolotorum Briq.

Coleus ingrates (Blume) Benth.

Coleus integrifolius Elmer

Coleus laciniatus (Blume) Benth.

Coleus multiflorus Benth.

Coleus pubescens Merr.

Coleus pumilus Blanco

Coleus rehneltianus A.Berger

Coleus savannicola K.Schum.

Coleus scutellarioides (L.) Benth.

Coleus secundiflorus Benth.

Coleus verschaffeltii Lem.

Coleus zschokkei Merr.

Germanea nudiflora Poir.

Majana acuminate (Benth.) Kuntze

Majana blancoi (Benth.) Kuntze

Majana grandifolia (Benth.) Kuntze

Majana multiflora (Benth.) Kuntze

Majana pumila (Blanco) Kuntze

Majana scutellariodes (L.) Kuntze

Majana secundiflora (Benth.) Kuntze

Ocimum peltatum Schweigg. ex Schrank

Ocimum scutellarioides L.

Perilla nankinensis Wender.

Plectranthus aromaticus Roxb.

Plectranthus blumei (Benth.) Launert

Plectranthus ingrates Blume

Plectranthus laciniatus Blume

Plectranthus nudiflorus (Poir.) Willd.

Plectranthus scutellarioides Blume

Solenostemon blumei (Benth.) M.Gómez

Solenostemon scutellarioides (L.) Codd

Common Name: Coleus

Plectranthus scutellarioides
One of the many patterns of variegated leaves
Photograph by: Ahmad Fuad Morad
Creative Commons License
Plectranthus scutellarioides Plectranthus scutellarioides Plectranthus scutellarioides Plectranthus scutellarioides Plectranthus scutellarioides Plectranthus scutellarioides

General Information

Plectranthus scutellarioides is an aromatic, evergreen perennial plant with erect to ascending stems that can become more or less woody near the base; it can grow 50 - 150cm tall. It does not form root tubers[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens and as a pot plant in cooler climates; there is a wide range of cultivated forms, valued especially for their wide range of variegated leaves[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet

Range

E. Asia - China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, northern Australia, Solomon Islands.

Habitat

Various habitats from the lowland to mountains; growing in rain-forest; shaded stream-banks and other watercourses; rice-field dykes; thickets; limestone hills; secondary forest; mossy forest, disturbed ground etc; at elevations up to 2,900 metres[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Plectranthus scutellarioides is cultivated outdoors in subtropical and tropical regions. It can only tolerate occasional very light frosts.
Succeeds in full sun to moderate shade, growing well in a ide range of soils, preferably moist but well-drained[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is widely grown as an ornamental and can escape from cultivation. It is listed as 'Invasive' in Cuba and a cultivation escape in Puerto Rico and some Pacific Islands. The species is shade tolerant, can grow in a wide range of habitats, reproduces by both seeds and stem cuttings, and can form dense thickets. It currently appears to be a minor pest rather than a seriously damaging weed[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Edible Uses

Edible tubers[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. This species does not produce tubers[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

The leaves are eaten fresh with bread and butter, or are bruised and put into country beer[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

Medicinal

The plant (part not specified) is employed in the treatment of dyspepsia, ophthalmia, headaches, bruises etc[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
]. It is also considered to be abortifacient and is used as a repellent for intestinal worms[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

The roots are used internally to treat diarrhoea and colic[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The leaves are anthelmintic, digestive, emmenagogue and sedative[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. They are used to treat urinary complaints, dyspepsia and congestion of the liver[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The leaves and young shoots from the purple-black wild species are squeezed into a cup, a pinch of salt is added and the mixture taken to induce abortion and remove the afterbirth[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].
Applied externally, they are used to treat swellings, smallpox and ophthalmia. The fresh leaves are applied as a poultice to bruises and contusions, and also to treat headache. The young leaves are baked and squeezed whilst hot onto fresh cuts and sores[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The sap, or a decoction of the plant, is used as an abortivum and emmenagogue, and to treat haemorrhoids, inflamed eyes and boils[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The sap of the plant is squeezed into the eye in the case of eye injury, and also rubbed on swellings[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The juice squeezed from new, soft leaves is applied to sores, including those of leprosy[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is used as a living fence in coffee plantations[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Other Uses

The sap from the leaves of the wild, purple-black species is used in tattooing[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on any modern research into the plants.
].

Propagation

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[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
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[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-09-26. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Plectranthus+scutellarioides>

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