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

	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

	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
"A man w/o charity in his heart - what has he to do with music?" - Confucius

More information about the Plantbio mailing list