Definition of coleus in English:



  • A tropical Southeast Asian plant of the mint family that has brightly colored variegated leaves and is popular as a houseplant.

    • ‘In summer months, bright annuals such as impatiens, begonia, and coleus make attractive companion plants.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Late-spring-to-frost annuals include the numerous sun coleuses, cleomes, periwinkles and zinnias.’
    • ‘I've had great success with basil, begonias, coleus, impatients, tomatoes, and tomatillos.’
    • ‘Purple leaves occur in many plants, from coleus to shrubs (smokebush or certain barberries) to trees (red maple or purple beech).’


Modern Latin, from Greek koleos ‘sheath’ (because of the way the stamens are joined together, resembling a sheath).