Coleus esculentus (N.E.Br.) G.Taylor

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Coleus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haslemere Lane, Umwinsidale

Coleus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haslemere Lane, Umwinsidale

Coleus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haslemere Lane, Umwinsidale

Coleus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chinyakwaremba, Vumba

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Synonyms: Plectranthus esculentus N.E. Br.
Plectranthus floribundus N.E. Br.
Common names: Finger potato (English) Livingstone potato (English)
Description: Perennial herb or suffrutex with long arching, woody, sparsely branched stems. Leaves subsessile, oblong-elliptic to oblanceolate, thick-textured with brown gland-dots on the under surface; margin obscurely toothed. Inflorescences erect along the stems, flowering before any leaves appear. Flowers bright yellow. The tuberous roots are edible.
Notes: Note that the plant in image no. 4 was found in a more unusual habitat of rocky submontane grassland.
The plant is also cultivated for its edible tubers; see Kujeke et al. (2015) for a survey of production practices in Zimbabwe.
Derivation of specific name: esculentus: edible
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Mali Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola and South Africa.
Growth form(s):
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Image last updated: Friday 27 January 2006

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 188. as Plectranthus esculentus

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 44. as Plectranthus esculentus

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 29. as Plectranthus esculentus

Kujeke, G.T., Masekesa, R.T., Icishahayo, D., Ngadze, E. & Mazarura, U. (2015). A Survey of the Production Practices of Livingstone Potato (Plectranthus esculentus), an Indigenous and Underutilised Vegetable in Zimbabwe Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International 4(4) Pages 175 - 187. as Plectranthus esculentus

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 56. as Plectranthus esculentus

Paton, A.J. et al. (2013). Lamiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(8) Pages 240 - 241. as Plectranthus esculentus

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 79. as Plectranthus esculentus

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 113. as Plectranthus esculentus longipes

Other sources of information about Coleus esculentus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Coleus esculentus
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Coleus esculentus
Flora of Malawi: Coleus esculentus
Flora of Mozambique: Coleus esculentus
Flora of Zambia: Coleus esculentus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Coleus esculentus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Coleus esculentus
African Plant Database: Coleus esculentus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Coleus esculentus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Coleus esculentus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Coleus esculentus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Coleus esculentus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Coleus esculentus
JSTOR Plant Science: Coleus esculentus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Coleus esculentus
Plants of the World Online: Coleus esculentus
Tropicos: Coleus esculentus
Wikipedia: Coleus esculentus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated Plants: Species information: Coleus esculentus., retrieved 19 April 2024

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