Common name: Five Seasons Herb, Spanish Thyme
Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng. APNI*
Synonyms: Coleus amboinicus Lour. APNI*
Description: Strongly and pleasantly aromatic, perennial herb to 150 cm high; branches spreading, densely covered with spreading hairs, gland-tipped hairs and sessile glands absent.
Leaves fleshy, with lamina broad-ovate to ± triangular, 3–7 cm long, 2.5–6 cm wide; apex obtuse to rounded; base truncate to abruptly attenuate; margins coarsely crenate to bluntly toothed with 7–15 pairs of teeth; both surfaces with pale to brownish sessile glands, upper surface densely appressed hairy, lower surface woolly; petiole 0.4–1 cm long, usually hairier than the branches.
Calyx 2.5–3 mm long, 5–6 mm long in fruit. Corolla 7–9 mm long, lilac, mauve or white; tube slightly decurved at the middle; lobes with sessile glands.
Flowering: chiefly spring.
Distribution and occurrence: Occasionally naturalized in coastal districts. Native of Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC
Other Australian states: *Qld
Commonly cultivated for medicinal uses and a popular spice for flavouring food.
Text by B. J. Conn
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.