Coleus is a gorgeous type of ornamental plant with a very complicated naming history!In 1763, coleus was part of the Ocimum genus. Later, it was recognized as its own genus of plants. Part of the Lamiaceae family, the genus name Coleus was eventually retired and these plants were incorporated as part of the Plectranthus genus. They’ve also been classified as Solenostemon genus, which complicates things even more.But what is coleus? Sometimes called painted nettle, they are multi-hued, stunning plants grown for their leaves rather than flowers. Excellent for either container gardening or for adoring garden beds, they offer amazing color in partial shaded areas.