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Nomenclatural changes in Coleus and Plectranthus

Réjean Millette January 28th 2022 478 views

Nomenclatural changes in Coleus and Plectranthus

Coleus scutellarioides, Plectranthus scutellarioides and Solenostemon scutellarioides were all synonymous.

Coleus are cultivated as ornamental plants, particularly Coleus scutellarioides, which is popular as a garden plant for its brightly colored foliage.

For many years, the plant we’ve known as coleus, was the popular garden plant with multi-coloured leaves, although its accepted scientific name was Plectranthus scutellarioides, but it was also known by its previous names Solenostemon scutellarioides and Coleus scutellarioides, and it kept the Coleus for its common name. All very confusing, because it belongs in a problematic group, and the name changes reflect the shifts in botanist’s knowledge and understanding of the group, as they found new species and learned more about them. Now, molecular studies, using the DNA of these plants, have brought clarity and definition to this group. 

The old genus Coleus is now re-instated and Plectranthus is redefined, and, therefore, Plectranthus scutellarioides is now Coleus scutellarioides again. 



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