Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Solenostemon scutellaroides (L.) Codd

Frost tender evergreen perennial, usually grown as an annual or short-lived perennial, with semi-succulent stems and ovate, toothed, multi-coloured leaves and terminal racemes of small blue or white flowers throughout the year. They are grown for their ornamental foliage.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1764 via Belgian nurseries.  [Don].  ‘We are indebted for our first knowledge of this plant in a living state to Mr. Low, of Clapton Nursery, who received the plant from Belgium, as a native of Java; but even there, Blume speaks of it only as cultivated in gardens.  As such it is an extremely ornamental plant, the leaves being intensely mottled and blotched with deep purple or sanguineous stains, while the long whorled racemes of flowers are prettily varied with purple and white.  Nothing is more easily cultivated, and no stove should be without it, for it flowers through the summer, and till the setting in of the winter.’  [BM t.4754/1853].  Illustration Horticole figures Coleus blumei var. Vershaffelti, with very dark leaves with mottled green edges [IH pl.293/1861] and Flore des Serres a number of varieties [FS f.801/1853, FS f.1544-1545/1863].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.764/1857].  Plants were obtained from the Sydney Botanic Garden on 17th October 1853 [RBGS AB].


Plectranthus ornatus Codd (1975) = Coleus comosus Hochst. ex Gürke.  This is not Macarthur’s plant.

Published Mar 19, 2009 - 05:26 PM | Last updated Mar 22, 2010 - 04:41 PM

Illustrated are toothed, deep red, green edged leaves and spike of blue flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.4754, 1853.

Solenostemon blumei (Benth.) M.Gómez | BM t.4754/1853 | BHL

Family Lamiaceae
Region of origin

South East Asia

  • Solenostemon blumei (Benth.) M.Gómez
  • Coleus blumei Benth.
  • Coleus ornatus Hort.
  • Coleus pumilus Blanco
  • Coleus scutellaroides (L.) Benth.
  • Ocimum scutellaroides L.
  • Plectranthus blumei (Benth.) Launert
  • Plectranthus scutellaroides (L.) R.Br.
Common Name

Coleus, Painted nettle

Name in the Camden Park Record

Plectranthus ornatus 

Confidence level high