Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Coleus excelsus (P.I.Forst.) P.I.Forst.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
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Paton, A.J. et al (2019) Phytokeys 129: 45.


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall, occasionally flowers when smaller.


Upper and lower leaf blade surfaces densely clothed in white or pale brown hairs. Pale coloured glands visible on the underside of the leaf blade. Leaves very aromatic when crushed. Leaf blades about 4.5-17 x 3-11 cm. Lateral veins and reticulate veins depressed on the upper surface and the leaf blade is arched between them.


Inflorescence axis up to 22 cm long, densely clothed in white woolly hairs and reddish globular glands. Flowers arranged in clusters with about 20-24 flowers in each cluster. Pedicels about 1.5-2.0 mm long. Calyx about 2-2.5 mm long, outer surface densely clothed in white woolly hairs. Corolla 2-lipped, about 5-10 mm long, outer surface of the corolla lobes clothed in white hairs. Pollen +/- orange. Ovary 4-lobed with the style in the middle. Nectary higher than the ovary.


Fruiting calyx about 3-3.3 mm long. Nutlets globular, about 0.7-0.8 mm diam.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to CYP. Altitudinal range from 50-300 m. Usually grows among granite boulders with very little associated vegetation or in bouldery areas on the margins of rain forest.

Plectranthus excelsus P.I.Forst.Austrobaileya 4: 172 (1994). Type: Queensland, Garraway Hill, 11 Jul. 1993, P. I. Forster 13543 & M. C. Tucker; holo: BRI; iso: A, AD, CBG, K, L, MEL, QRS.
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