Solenostemon (Coleus) 

(sol-eh-no-ste' mon)(kol-ee' us)

Common name: Coleus, Flame Nettle

Family: Lamiaceae, Mint

Height x width: 6-24" x 12-24"

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: ovate, regularly toothed to variously cut, usually variegated, many color combinations

Flowers: dark blue or whitish terminal spike-like racemes in summer

Hardiness: annual

Soil: well-drained, moist

Light: part shade to shade, some cultivars (often darker colors) tolerate sun in zones 3-5 if kept well-watered

Pests and problems: leafspots, mealybugs, mites, aphids, whiteflies, slugs

Landscape habit, uses: shade gardens, containers, massing; upright rounded habit, houseplant

Other interest: name from the Greek koleus for sheath, refering to florets enclosing stamens; native to Java

Other culture: flowers of little interest--remove before bloom for best growth and branching

Propagation: seed (115,000 seeds per ounce) sown 10 weeks before planting out, cuttings in summer or fall for houseplants or overwintering

Species:

scutellarioides (schoo-te-lair-ee-oy' dees)--listed under blumei species in past but cultivars are hybrids of several species; many series of hybrids usually available only as a mix:
 

Brilliant--uniform bushy plants, bright colors

Carefree--small oak-shaped leaves, self-branching, compact and bushy, bred by Claude Hope

Dragon--large leaves, well-defined colored yellow-green edge, self-branching

Fairway--rainbow type, small leaves, compact, late to bloom

Fashion Parade--variously colored, variously lobed and patterned, 9-12" tall

Fiji--fringed leaves, many colors, bred by Claude Hope

Jazz--dwarf habit, otherwise similar to Wizard

Old Lace--fringed, ruffled and serrated leaves

Rainbow--medium sized leaves, variously colored and striped

Saber--saber-like leaves closely spaced, compact plants

Solar--brightly variously colored medium leaves, serrated to deeply cut, sold as cuttings

Wizard--large heart-shaped leaves, basal branching

Cultivars: 

Cultivars leaves
'Alabama Sunset' brick-red, thin yellow edge
'Candidum' brilliant green and soft ivory, rainbow type
'Color Pride' red, bronze and green border
'Flamenco' scarlet-red, fringed, yellow-green edge
'Gaslight' scarlet, yellow-green netted edge
'Othello' blackish
'Scarlet Poncho' red with green flecks, edged yellow-green, 10-12" tall
'Solar Eclipse' cherry red, black markings, serrated
'Solar Flare' maroon, green-yellow edge, deep serrations
'Solar Shadow' green, maroon toward edges and tips, serrated
'Solar Spectrum' ivory and red streaked, serrated
'Solar Storm' dark red, green, ivory mottled, deeply cut
'Valentine' crimson-red, narrow yellow edge
'Volcano' bright red


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to   HGPO course | PSS123 course