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Plectranthus neochilus (Lobster Flower)


Scientific Name

Plectranthus neochilus Schltr.

Common Names

Lobster Flower, Lobster Bush, Fly Bush, Mosquito Bush, Smelly Spur Flower, Blue Coleus, Poor Man's Lavender


Coleus neochilus, Coleus schinzii

Scientific Classification

Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Ocimeae
Genus: Plectranthus


Plectranthus neochilus is a perennial, aromatic, succulent plant up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall and up to 2 feet (60 cm) wide. The deep blue and purple flowers are borne from spring through late fall. The leaves are succulent, grey-green and form an attractive ground cover even when the plant is not in flower.


USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Plectranthus are easily cultivated and require little extra attention or special treatment. They enjoy well-composted soil and as rule thrive in semi shade or cool positions on south facing aspects. They are ideally suited to growth under the shade of trees. They are generally shallow rooted and enjoy adequate water but they do store water in their stems and are resistant to prolonged periods of drought. Plectranthus are often grown for their attractive foliage, flowers or both and vary in their growth forms from dense prostrate ground covers to sub-shrubs and large shrubs.

Although they are frost tender they are usually grown in shady protected places and as such are afforded some protection from frost. Due to the fact that they all flower at the end of the growing season frost does not affect flowering. If the plants are affected by frost they can be cut back at the end of winter and will grow out rapidly. Once the plants have been established for a year or more they become woodier at the base and are more resistant to frost damage.… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Plectranthus


Native to South Africa.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids


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