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Plants of the UNF Campus

Solenostemon scutellarioides - Coleus
Family Lamiaceae


Two species of Solenostemon are native to tropical Africa and Asia. This species is the one most commonly cultivated in the United States. The common name comes from the plant’s former scientific name, Coleus blumei. Coleus has the classic mint family features of a opposite leaves, a square stem, and a flower spike at the ends of its branches. Since its introduction to England in the 1800’s, many coleus cultivars have been selected for variations in foliage form and color. Some people remove the flower spikes keep the plant from diverting resources from the leaves to developing seeds. Others enjoy the blue flowers. 


See this plant at entrances during the summer and in containers around campus.


Herbaceous perennial to about nine inches to three feet tall, depending on the variety. Usually, it is grown as a summer annual in north Florida.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun to shade (sun tolerance depends on variety)

Water: average, somewhat drought tolerant

Soil: average soil, no special requirements

This is an easy plant to grow during the summer in northeast Florida. All varieties will grow in shade. Some tolerate full sun. Cultivars at the nursery with intricate patterns in the leaves may turn solid red when planted in the sun.

Solenostemon scutellarioides