One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tropical SE Asian plant of the mint family that has brightly coloured variegated leaves and is popular as a houseplant.
Genus Solenostemon (formerly Coleus), family Labiatae
- ‘Purple leaves occur in many plants, from coleus to shrubs (smokebush or certain barberries) to trees (red maple or purple beech).’
- ‘Thanks to her green thumb and her love for plants and flowers, I learned that a single clay pot filled with trailing English ivy or striking variegated coleus placed on a sunny windowsill could brighten the bleakest of winter days.’
- ‘I've had great success with basil, begonias, coleus, impatients, tomatoes, and tomatillos.’
- ‘Late-spring-to-frost annuals include the numerous sun coleuses, cleomes, periwinkles and zinnias.’
- ‘In summer months, bright annuals such as impatiens, begonia, and coleus make attractive companion plants.’
Modern Latin, from Greek koleos ‘sheath’ (because of the way the stamens are joined together, resembling a sheath).
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