This large Family, which covers some 180 genera and 3,500 species, includes mint and many popular aromatic herbs as well as garden ornamentals. It has advanced into the desert regions of southern and tropical Africa with fleshy-leaved representatives of the related genera Coleus and Plectranthus, which can stand extreme drought. Coleus pen-theri(9.1) is very unlike the gaudy-leaved pot plants beloved of florists (C. scutel-larioides cultivars). but it is a neat and welcome addition to succulent collections —doubly so for the blue of its flowers, a colour rare in succulents. Of several fleshy and very xerophytic species of Plectranthus, the gem is P. prostratus, with violet blooms, but be warned! It seeds itself readily and can invade the whole glasshouse. Propagation of all these labiates is easy from cuttings.

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