from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various Old World herbs of the genus Coleus in the mint family, widely cultivated for their multicolored decorative leaves. Also called flame nettle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant of several species of the mint family, cultivated for its bright-colored or variegated leaves.


New Latin Coleus, genus name, from Greek koleos, sheath (from the way its filaments are joined).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek a sheath, referring to the manner in which the stamens are united. (Wiktionary)



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  • "Against the uniform sheet of snow and the greyish winter sky the Italian villa loomed up rather grimly; even in summer it kept its distance, and the boldest coleus bed had never ventured nearer than thirty feet from its awful front."
    - Edith Wharton, 'The Age of Innocence'.

    September 19, 2009

  • January 24, 2008

  • Extremely easy to propigate from cuttings

    January 24, 2008