Plectranthus esculentus N.E. Br.

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Plectranthus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haslemere Lane, Umwinsidale

Plectranthus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haslemere Lane, Umwinsidale

Plectranthus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haslemere Lane, Umwinsidale

Plectranthus esculentus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chinyakwaremba, Vumba

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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 Plectranthus esculentus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Plectranthus esculentus
Flora of Malawi: Plectranthus esculentus
Flora of Mozambique: Plectranthus esculentus
Flora of Zambia: Plectranthus esculentus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Plectranthus esculentus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Plectranthus esculentus
African Plant Database: Plectranthus esculentus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Plectranthus esculentus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Plectranthus esculentus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Plectranthus esculentus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Plectranthus esculentus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Plectranthus esculentus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Plectranthus esculentus
iNaturalist: Plectranthus esculentus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Plectranthus esculentus
JSTOR Plant Science: Plectranthus esculentus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Plectranthus esculentus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Plectranthus esculentus
Plants of the World Online: Plectranthus esculentus
The Plant List (version 1.1): Plectranthus esculentus
Tropicos: Plectranthus esculentus
Wikipedia: Plectranthus esculentus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated Plants: Species information: Plectranthus esculentus., retrieved 23 September 2019

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