A stand of lobster flower or Coleus neochilus, previously Plectranthus neochilus in full sun can be a spectacular sight. The stem-tip inflorescences are bright and attractive, produced well above the velvety foliage that here looks a bit exhausted from their production efforts, although it is only November.
This productive effort, no matter the exhaustion and physical sacrifice, is all that matters to them: Flowers that yield sufficient seed for ensuring the next generation is the purpose of a plant’s life. In other words, a plant is a seed's way of producing another seed. Or the other way round, depending on the viewpoint.
The strongly aromatic odour of the foliage is pleasing to some, foul to others… regarding smell, as in matters of taste, there can be no disputes although some situations must come close.
Lobster flowers, specifically the tops of their flower spikes, reach heights around 20 cm to 40 cm (Germishuizen and Fabian, 1982; Eliovson, 1984).