I was given this herb at our monthly local produce share. It had the label “tulsi?”. I didn’t know what tulsi was at the time, but when I googled it I found that this herb was definitely not tulsi (AKA holy basil). I was pretty keen to identify it, as I’d already sampled some of the leaf! I started flicking through my herb books until I found a picture that looked similar. It looks very much like Mother of Herbs (Coleus amboinicus – also Plectranthus amboinicus), however the text says that this herb can be easily confused with Dog Bane (Plectranthus caninus), but I think the leaves on my specimen are too serrated to be either of these. Another herb book mentions Coleus forskohliii and further googling reveals that there are many similar looking plants in the Coleus/ Plectranthus genus, they are all related to mint and oregano (Lamiaceae family). Here’s more about how I identified this herb and how I will use it.
- Liz Beavis (eight acres)
Liz lives on a farm in Queensland, Australia, with her husband Peter and dog Taz. They have a passion for small-scale organic farming and producing and eating real food. They keep chickens, beef and jersey cows and a big vegetable garden. Liz writes a blog about their farm to both inspire and help others who are interested in self-sufficiency, sustainability and permaculture.
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