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Native Coleus

Coleus australis (syns. Plectranthus australis & Plectranthus parviflorus)*


Coleus australis, with other common names such as spurflower, little spurflower and cockspur flower, is a native Australian species of the family Lamiaceae, the same family as mint and sage. It also occurs in Polynesia and Hawaii. This is a herbaceous plant of prostrate habit. Non aromatic flowers, but when the leaves and twigs are crushed, they emit a strong, sweet odour like that of lantana. Inflorescence about 30 cm long or longer, with blue and white flowers which may occur throughout the year. Provides good ground cover, and also popular as an ornamental. PS: This species was used by Aborigines of the Robertson River in north Queensland in treating syphilitic sores, using either an infusion as a wash or the leaves as a poultice. Cribb (1981).


Grows in a variety of habitats, frequently in open eucalyptus forest, but also in rocky areas in rainforest and monsoon forest. This spotting was found in native bushland along Devlins Creek, in northwest Sydney. Growing amongst native ferns and grasses beneath eucalyptus trees. A well-shaded area, and lush due to recent rains.


* Regarding the Plectranthus genus...

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Beecroft, New South Wales, Australia

Spotted on Mar 9, 2021
Submitted on Mar 17, 2021

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