Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Coleus diversus (S.T.Blake) P.I.Forst. & T.C.Wilson

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Paton, A.J. et al (2019) Phytokeys 129: 41.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall.


Leaf blades about 2.5-6 x 3-5.5 cm, upper and lower surfaces clothed in short glandular and longer non-glandular hairs, margin with 10-15 rounded teeth on each side, petioles about 1.2-2.5 cm long. Midrib and veins depressed on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Twigs square in cross section. Leaves emit a strong odour when crushed, the odour resembling that of Eucalyptus or Tea Tree (Melaleuca spp.) Oil.


Flowers borne in elongated fasciculate cymes or panicles. Pedicels about 5 mm long. Flowers about 10 mm long, very zygomorphic. Calyx clothed in glandular and non-glandular hairs, and orange glands. Corolla 5-lobed, the lower lobe cup-shaped with white markings and orange glands. Anther filaments about 6 mm long. Style about 6 mm long, stigma bilobed.


Fruits (nutlets, up to 4) enclosed in the persistent calyx. Seeds about 1 mm long. Embryo about 1 mm long, cotyledons folded once and also folded back and +/- surrounding the radicle.


Cotyledons about 7 x 10 mm, minutely hairy, petioles about 5-6 mm long. First pair of leaves about 19-16 mm, petioles about 14 mm long, margin crenate or almost smooth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade clothed in hairs on both the upper and lower surfaces, small spherical, cream or orange glands visible with a lens. Margin with 5 or 6 large rounded teeth on each side. Stem hairy and square in transverse section. Seed germination time 15 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ. Known only from collections from the Font Hills area. Altitudinal range not known in any detail but collected at 500 m. Grows as an understory plant in monsoon forest or vine thickets on granite.


Plectranthus diversus S.T.Blake, Contributions from the Queensland Herbarium 9: 20-22 (1971). Type: Australia, Queensland, Spring Creek near Bowen (cultivated at The Gap), Brisbane., Oct. 1963, S.T.Blake 22128 (holotype: BRI).  Plectranthus sp. Font Hills (B.Gray 6336), Provisional HISPID phrase name.

RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.