The GRIN Website lists 24 species of Plectranthus. However, other references suggest that more than 350 species are known. Obviously much reclassification of the genus has taken place, and even the ubiquitous coleus, until recently known as Solenostemon scutellarioides, is now in the Plectranthus genus.
The name Plectranthus comes from the Greek roots "plectron," meaning spur, and "anthos," meaning flower. Many are called spur flowers, referring to the spur that is often at the base of the petals. All Plectranthuses are members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. Most are native to regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia. Members of the genus serve various purposes in the landscape, and some are used as food, medicine, and as an air purifier. Some people believe that certain kinds scare away snakes and repel mosquitoes.
Swedish Ivy - Plectranthus australis / verticillatus /
Since it is not listed on the GRIN website, it may have been reclassified. Commonly called Swedish ivy, the plant has glossy, green, quilted leaves with scalloped edges and is particularly effective in hanging baskets. Tubular lilac and white flowers bloom during the summer. This plant overwinters in my Zone 8B garden in protected places. I start new baskets of it each summer from plants that survived in the greenhouse and from sprigs found under azalea and camellia bushes in the garden.
Plectranthus tomentosa is also called mentholatum plant because of the aroma it gives off when brushed. It has fuzzy gray-green leaves and bears lavender-purple flowers. It can grow up to 30 inches tall and 24 inches wide, sometimes becoming rather woody at the base of its stems.
Scientific name: Plectranthus 'Cerveza'n Lime'