Which Species of Coleus?

John J. Ladasky II ladasky at netcom.com
Thu Jun 24 00:28:29 EST 1993


Greetings, fellow plant enthusiasts!

	I have a Coleus plant that I've owned for a few years.  I'd like
to know what species I have.  I've seen several different Coleus plants
at nurseries, but they're all labeled simply "coleus" - that's it, just the
genus, not the species.  Here are some distinguishing features of my
plant:

	1) Like most coleus plants, the center of the leaf is dark red.
	   The edge of the leaf is green, not yellow.

	2) The leaves have a velvety texture. (Several of the varieties
	   I've encountered have a waxy feel.)

	3) The largest leaves are about three inches long, and pointed.

	4) The leaves only last about three months - then the plant seems
	   to run them through some kind of programmed leaf abcision, 
	   sucking the leaves dry and turning them a crispy brown before
	   dropping them off the stalk.

	5) When the plant flowers (something I generally try to avoid),
	   a stalk of light purple flowers, about two inches long, appears
	   and lasts a few months.  The leaves immediately behind the 
	   flowering stalk don't have the pointed shape that the normal
	   leaves do - instead, they are rounded.

	6) Leaves are well-spaced along the stems - i.e., plenty of stem
	   is visible. (Several varieties I've seen have considerably more
	   dense leaves.)

	7) The stems are green, waxy, and have a square cross-section.
	   Over the course of about a year, the stems acquire a woody
	   cambium.

	Now that you know exactly what species of plant I have, would 
you care to give me a few growing tips? :^)

	It's times like this that I wish we had a .GIF file encyclopedia
of plants on-line.  (Oh, no!  Don't suggest *another* net project! :^)

	Thanks in advance!

-- 
== John J. Ladasky II ("ii") ========================= ladasky at netcom.COM ==
"Great composers do not borrow -	     "Talking about music is like
 they steal."  - John Ladasky	      ~ -     dancing about architecture."
(quote stolen from Stravinsky, who    o o     - Elvis Costello?  Laurie
 stole it from a statement made by     >        Anderson?  Frank Zappa?
 Pablo Picasso about painting, who    \_/    -------------------------------
 stole it from...)			     "Property is theft." - Groucho
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