Coleus scutellarioides ‘Redhead’

Coleus ‘Redhead’ on 6-3-15, #265-11.

Coleus ‘Redhead’

Coleus scutellarioides

KO-lee-us  skew-tell-ar-ee-OH-ih-deez


Plectranthus scutellarioides


Solenostemon scutellarioides

Coleus scutellarioides (L.) Benth. is the accepted scientific name for this species of Coleus. It was named and described as such by George Bentham in Plantae Asiaticae Rariores in 1830. It was first named and described as Ocimum scutellarioides by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

To read the research document published on Phytokeys, “Nomenclatural changes in Coleus and Plectranthus (Lamiaceae): a tale of more than two genera” by Alan J. Patton and others”, click HERE. I think this is the document presented to make the name changes. 

The two most common synonyms that plants are still sold under are Plectranthus scutellarioides and Solenostemon scutellarioides. 

Now a synonym, Plectranthus scutellarioides (L.) R.Br. was described as such by Robert Brown in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae in 1810.

Now a synonym, Solenostemon scutellarioides (L.) Codd was described by Leslie Edward Wastell Codd in Bothalia in 1975.

The genus, Coleus Lour., was named and described as such by João de Loureiro in Flora Cochinchinensis in 1790.

As of 1-2-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 301 species in the Coleus genus. It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 232 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.


Coleus ‘Redhead’ on 6-27-15, #270-19.

I acquired my Coleus ‘Redhead’ as a cutting from, um… Rather not say because I didn’t actually have permission. Also, propagation is prohibited. 🙂

I am not 100% sure of the origin of this plant, perhaps Ball Horticultural. This plant was patented under the name ‘UF0646 (PP21,585). According to Ball, this is the truest red in the Ball FloraPlant collection.

The Ball Horticultural website, as well as others, states Coleus ‘Redhead’ has a mounded, upright growth habit. It will grow to around 18-36” tall x 16-28” wide.

Coleus ‘Redhead’ performs well in sun or shade but will require more frequent watering in more sun.

They are a low-maintenance Coleus that flower very late if at all. That means they can branch on their own without pinching. However, for bushier plants, you may need to pinch a couple of times.

Coleus ‘Redhead’ on 10-3-15, #272-13.

I did not have much time for my plants in the latter part of the summer of 2015, so my Coleus ‘Redhead’ grew a little weird… It seemed to perform well even as the temps started dropping and day length was decreasing when other Coleus started declining.

Coleus ‘Redhead’ was awarded Best Coleus at the Cornell Flora Trials in 2016 (?).

I give my Coleus ‘Redhead’ a five gold star rating for growth, heat tolerance, ease of maintenance, etc. Even though my plants were neglected for a time, most of them did fine without any problem.

You can read my Coleus scutellarioides page by clicking HERE for more information and a list of all the Coleus I have grown.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know. Of course, you can always send me an email at



2 comments on “Coleus scutellarioides ‘Redhead’

  1. Anton says:

    Yes thats one of my three favorite stalwart Coleus. Thank-you for putting a name to it. Ours all come imported from Japan and the names….. well the whole ticket is in Japanese so I never know but most appear to be American cultivars remarketed. Better late than never but this red is gorgeous. Only problem I have with it is if I leave it too long in the dry season before taking cuttings, the quality of the cuttings deteriorates quiet a lot and they can develope black leg. The substance of the leaves is not quite as strong perhapse as others and the lack of humidity in the dry season means they battle soemwhat. I still manage to get a decent number of cuttings every year and they bounce back as long as I do them first. Also mine need sun to look ther best and most vibrant red, they don’t really look good in shade unfortunately because thats what they would also prefer. So watering is quite a issue in dry spells as the thin leaves droop but if you can keep at it they are magnificent, particularily backlit. You might need antifungal spray as the watering levels required mean trouble in some very hot times of the year. Utterly enchanting. Couldn’t do without redhead. I’m guessing some might find this quite amusing but we don’t get these plants like they do in America, this one only found it’s way here via Japan a mere two years ago. So I get to be delighted long after most do right around the globe lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Anton! I had another red-leaved Coleus that I could never figure out the name of. There are several breeders that have cultivars that look the same with different names. Then I finally did find an actual ‘Redhead’. I lost several Coleus in 2009 and 2010 to Black Leg on mature plants I tried to overwinter in the sunroom in Mississippi. My problem was I hated to lose such nice plants from an “F” (frost) so I would bring them inside. Then I switched to taking cuttings and never had a black leg problem again. I had one red-leaved plant that did well for a few years then just curled up and died one summer. That was that! I hope you continue to do well with cuttings. Thanks for the comment.


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