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Coleus bellus


Coleus bellus (P.I.Forst.) P.I.Forst.

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Synonyms: Plectranthus bellus P.I.Forst.
Common Name: Lemon Sherbet Coleus

Lemon Sherbert Coleus has attractive, softly hairy leaves with a silvery sheen. The leaves exude a lemony fragrance when brushed and can be taken as a tea infusion.


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Genus Epithet
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Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Columnar
Maximum Height 1.5 m


Native Distribution Australia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herb up to 1.5 m tall.
Foliage Silvery, furry, lemon-scented leaves are egg-shaped with a toothed leaf margin.
Flowers Small, purple, 2-lipped flowers occur in a spike inflorescence.
Fruit Fruit is a nutlet.
Habitat Seasonally dry tropical mountain slopes up to 810 m above sea level.
Associated Fauna Pollinated by the Smooth-headed Stingless Bee (Tetragonula laeviceps) and other insects.
Cultivation Fertilise every 1-3 months for plants in true ground. Regularly trim to maintain shape, prefers well-drained soils and propagate through stem cuttings. Seldom flowers in Singapore. Best grown in containers and has fast growth rate.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb or Spice): Leaves can be taken as a tea infusion.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Fragrant
Landscape Uses Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden, Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bee-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water, Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Silver / Grey, Green - Light Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Silver / Grey
Young Flush Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 cm2 )

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Individual Flower Shape Labiate / Lipped
Inflorescence Type Spike

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Indehiscent Dry Fruit , Nut / Nutlet

Image Repository



Master ID 32553
Species ID 6965
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 11 May 2024.