Coleus edulis

Common name: Gala Dinich Family: Labiatae
Author: Vatke. Botanical references:  
Known Hazards: None known
Range: N. Africa – Ethiopia.
Habitat: Mountainous regions, 1800 – 2100 metres.
Edibility Rating (1-5): 1 Medicinal Rating (1-5): 0
Other Possible Synonyms: From various places across the web, may not be correct. See below.
C. tuberosusG Plectranthus edulisG
Epithets: From a Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
edulis = edible;
Systematics: From a UDSA Plants Database
Order: Lamiales. Renamed to Lamiaceae — Mint family

Physical Characteristics

Perennial. It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). We rate it 1/5 for edibility and 0/5 for medicinal use.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Cultivated Beds, By Walls, By South Wall, By West Wall.

Edible Uses


Root – cooked

22, 46, 61, 105. We have no further details.

Medicinal Uses

None known

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

We have no information on this plant and do not know if it would be feasible to grow it outdoors in Britain, it is almost certainly not winter hardy. As an experiment it could be worthwhile growing it in much the same way as potatoes are grown, planting out the tubers in April and harvesting them in the autumn. Give the plants a warm very sunny position in a well-drained soil. This species is cultivated for its edible tuber in Ethiopia61.


Seed – surface sow in a greenhouse in late winter and seal the pot in a plastic bag until germination takes place – this is usually within 2 weeks at 20°c164. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow on the plants in a greenhouse for their first year. Store the tubers in a cool frost-free place and plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring, after the last expected frosts. Division. Harvest the tubers in the autumn after the top growth has been cut back by frost, store them in a cool but frost-free place over winter and plant them out in spring.