co·​le·​us | \ ˈkō-lē-əs How to pronounce coleus (audio) \

Definition of coleus

: any of a large genus (Coleus) of Old World herbs of the mint family including ones cultivated for their colorful foliage

Examples of coleus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the top of the colorful displays were the begonias, rudbeckia, impatiens and coleus. Tom Maccubbin,, "Northern flowers lingered but edible gardens declined," 20 Oct. 2019 Regular, fibrous begonias and coleus can be dug up and potted into individual containers and brought inside. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Gladioli, dahlias, begonias: It’s time to consider packing them up for winter," 19 Sep. 2019 Caladiums are excellent for shady areas and combine beautifully with ferns, begonias, torenia, liriope, impatiens, hosta and coleus. Dan Gill,, "Plant these vegetables in April, and other garden tips," 7 Apr. 2019 When selecting coleus, ask for the sun-tolerant types for the open areas. Tom Maccubbin,, "Red blooms turn out to be blood lilies," 22 June 2019 Use begonias, coleus, or caladium for color in the shade. Calvin Finch,, "How to control weeds in your summer lawn and garden," 28 June 2019 As for houseplants, Emmons recommends any type of ivy (English ivy is his favorite), philodendron, wandering Jew, purple passion, and coleus. Emily Main, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Thriving Houseplants In Water," 23 June 2017 Leafy tropicals and other foliage plants including begonias, caladiums, coleus, cannas, ferns, dracaenas and philodendrons can be used for dramatic effect in the shade container. Adrian Higgins, sacbee, "Container culture – these pots do lots | The Sacramento Bee," 11 May 2018 The appeal of coleus comes from the color of its foliage: lots of variation of maroon, green and golden including patterns on the leaves. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "What to plant now for serious garden color," 30 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coleus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coleus

1885, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coleus

New Latin, genus name, from Greek koleos, koleon sheath

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Time Traveler for coleus

Time Traveler

The first known use of coleus was in 1885

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Statistics for coleus

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Coleus.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for coleus


co·​le·​us | \ ˈkō-lē-əs How to pronounce coleus (audio) \

Kids Definition of coleus

: a plant grown as a houseplant or a garden plant for its many-colored leaves

More from Merriam-Webster on coleus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coleus Encyclopedia article about coleus

Comments on coleus

What made you want to look up coleus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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