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[koh-lee-uh s] /ˈkoʊ li əs/
noun, plural coleuses.
any of several tropical Asian or African plants belonging to the genus Coleus, of the mint family, certain species of which are cultivated for their showy, colored foliage and blue flowers.
Origin of coleus
1865-70; < New Latin < Greek koleós, variant of koleón sheath, scabbard; akin to conceal, hull1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for coleus
Historical Examples
  • Give the coleus about six inches of lee-way, also the Centaurea.

    Amateur Gardencraft Eben E. Rexford
  • Among foliage plants such things as coleus, dusty miller, begonia, and some geraniums are adaptable.

  • The coleus, as a window plant, affords fine color effects, but the plant is too tender to be agreeable for house-culture.

    A Garden with House Attached Sarah Warner Brooks
  • coleus and bouvardias are among the plants upon which mealy bugs are most often found.

  • We do not know who is the author of this very interesting autobiography of an old and popular coleus.

    Talks about Flowers. M. D. Wellcome
  • The best plants of the geranium and the coleus and many window plants are those which are not more than one year old.

  • Ask the children to bring the old geraniums and fuchsias and coleus, and other favorites.

  • More and more we are getting away from the cold, stiff planting of Canna, coleus, and Salvia.

  • Begin with some of the common herbaceous bedding-plants, such as geranium, coleus, or fuschia.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study Ontario Ministry of Education
  • Geraniums and coleus (foliage plants) should not be kept more than two seasons.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study Ontario Ministry of Education
British Dictionary definitions for coleus


noun (pl) -uses
any plant of the Old World genus Coleus: cultivated for their variegated leaves, typically marked with red, yellow, or white: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek koleos, variant of koleon sheath; from the way in which the stamens are joined
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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