Coleus aren’t really a perennial, though I’ve heard there are hybrids that are, but the one in the photo has a history of longevity through care and “cloning”.
Just as the season changes and the nights start to noticably cool down it is brought inside, tended, and pruned if necessary.
When producing seeds they are gathered and planted in the late spring when the temperature is more predictable and stable – so in essence if you gather the seeds of a favorite plant and sow them when appropriate it stays with you. You can also take cuttings and in affect “clone” your Coleus.
If allowed to seed the plant will die, an event that can be controlled by removing the buds of flowers as they first appear.
There are several varieties but one thing they share in common is the way in which they react to sunlight – too much and they fade or begin to yellow, too little and they wilt, but when the exposure is right they respond with a glorious array of colors.
All in all a sturdy adaptive plant that will do well either indoors or outdoors and can grow two or three feet tall, though I understand there are also dwarf versions.
This particular photo was taken with a vintage 55mm f1.8 Petri lens with the aperture set at f1.8.
A good lens often overlooked in the pursuit of those with a greater name recognition.
I think plants and gardens, especially a garden whose purpose is to supply edibles, are an important learning tool for children – the incumbent responsibility of tending along with the process of growth and maturation that lead to what’s for supper are both a visual and real time experience that will broaden a child’s understanding of their relationship to the land and living things.
And of course worms, grubs,butterflies, and ladybugs always fascinate them and provide a lesson as well in the ecology of beneficial relationships in the natural world – a mutualism where all parties gain something.
I don’t believe that Coleus are edible, at least I’ve never heard of anyone making a salad of them and not about to try it myself – but what they offer in the way of ambiance and a serene beauty is reason enough to cultivate a few.
As to the lens I don’t know if one could say it too offers a serene beauty, though it likewise is sturdy and reactive to sunlight as in flare if shooting head on into sunlight, but that’s true of any lens regardless of who makes it or how much it costs.
There are a multitude of ways to address that though, as in polarizing filters, hoods, and ND filters in the two to three range.
The photo can be enlarged twice by clicking on it – in doing so for the second time the sharpness and overall IQ of this thirty or so years old lens becomes even more apparent.
Coleus and the Petri 55mm, both keepers.
Another example of why I like this little lens.