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Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

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Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  Zephyros on 10/23/2011, 10:39 am

I while ago I´ve got a herb, and I am trying to identify what exactly it
is because I know that you can eat it but I don´t know how to prepare
it.

The name that is written on the stick is Coleus Amboniensis,
but I have reason to believe that the name is wrong. Because, when you
google this, you don´t find anything. However, when I just google Coleus
you find the whole family and when I look at the description of Coleus
Ambionicus, it appears to match to the plant I´ve got, although I don´t
know about the flowers since mine hasn´t flowered yet.

What I´ve
been told about the plant is that it is capable of repelling insects and
that you can rub it on your skin so that insects don´t like you.
They´ve told me that it is also used in Suriname kitchen in combination
with meat, but they didn´t know the details about it. Somethimes it is
also called Frensh mint (translated straight from dutch so I am not sure
this is right in english). Difficulty is that if I try to google this, I
get the mint family or the old frensh coin.

Therefore I put some pictures below since a picture can tell more than a thousand words. I hope that they are clear enough and that someone can tell me a bit more about the pant. Especially if I am right that it is a Coleus Ambionicus indeed.


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Re: Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  camprn on 10/23/2011, 4:43 pm

It's curious, but some web sites state coleus is poisonous. Others say the ornamental variety is different than the herb (culinary) variety. http://www.prcupcc.org/herbs/herbsw/wildcoleus.htm

I suppose if it were me, I would choose not to eat it until positive ID.

I did find this site informative, but I am not sure if it refers to your plant.

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Re: Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  Zephyros on 10/24/2011, 3:21 am

I agree with you that I shouldn't eat it before I have a positive ID. Thats why I posted this topic on the forum. And maybe the plant isn't big enough to harvest from it anyway, therefore I use this time to do some research on it.

The second website doesn't refere to the plant I've got, although it is very interesting.

I hope that other people know more about it. Maybe there is someone on the forum that actually grew and/ or used it.

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Re: Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  Icemaiden on 10/24/2011, 6:22 am

It is confusing isn't it? Any chance you could ask where you got it?

I have a pot of (half dead actually) what I was told was fat-leaf thyme from Guyana. I think it is this

http://www.yougrowgirl.com/2007/02/05/unkillable-herb-broadleaf-thyme/

But this is a fleshier plant than the one you show.

If you try the spelling coleus amboinensis (move the letter i) then you will get a few hits but I could not make much sense of them :-)

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Re: Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  camprn on 10/24/2011, 9:16 am

It looks very similar to lemon balm but your plant's leaves seem to be rounder at the tip of the leaf... What does it smell like when you crush a leaf between your fingers?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  Mamachibi on 10/24/2011, 11:14 am

It looks like a member of the mint family. Are the stems round or square?

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Re: Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  Zephyros on 10/25/2011, 12:34 pm

The stems are round, and you can already smell the plant when you move your finger over the hairs of the leaf/ stem. I find it hard to describe the smell. It's not mint-like. To bad I can't upload it. Laughing But I am pretty sure that it is a Coleus. I just don't know which species.

I've been thinking to go back where I've got it from. The problem is that it is not really next door and I haven't found the time yet to go there. Therefore I thought it would be easier to try it on the forum.

I just remembered that they also told me that it was easy to propagate. You just cut the stem and stick it in the ground. And it is not winter hard.

A more common name for the Coleus amboinicus is Broadleaf Thyme by the way.

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Re: Is my Coleus Amboniensis extually a Coleus Amboinicus?

Post  Zephyros on 10/27/2011, 1:37 pm

Today, I had the time and oppertunety to go to the place where I got the plant. As it turns out, I wasn't so far from the answere. Apparently Coleus Amboniencis is an old name. It is now called Plectranthus amboinicus/ Coleus amboinicus/ Coleus aromaticus. For people who don't like latin it is known as Cuban oregano, Spanish thyme, Indian borage, Big thyme, mexican thyme and mexican mint (according to wikipedia). I'am not sure which version English people use.

I know you can use this herb with meat and poultry, so is there anyone who can provide me with some nice and easy recepies to try this herb?

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