Does this Coleus exist in our space/time continuum?

(Question)

Hello, I have grown to love Coleus plants the past few years mainly due to their great performance in shade and all the new varieties becoming available. I found this fantastic Coleus image attached, around the Web but with no identifiers. I can’t find out if this is a real cultivar or some photoshop fantasy. I would love to get hold of some of these plants if they exist! What a great way to light up a shady corner with this yellow/magenta combination!

(Answer)

That is a gorgeous coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides aka Plectranthus scutellarioides), and you are right that the new varieties have been particularly eye-popping. The new varieties are good in shade, but also sun. There are hundreds of new annuals produced each year, some do well, others fade into history. Local nurseries can only order so many of each type of plant, and they choose what might meet the trends of the coming year. At this time of the year, if the plant proved popular, it is long sold out.

However, Looking at my Landscape Ontario 2013 Garden Inspiration magazine, they note under their column “New Annuals” two new series of coleus. The “Colorblaze” coleus series are part of the Proven Winners brand. Proven Winners are available at many local nurseries. The second new series is the “Under the Sea” coleus series, grown by the University of Saskatchewan. These seem to be available by seed from reputable sources.

Looking at the “Colorblaze” series, one plant “Royale Glissande” might be the coleus you are looking for.

http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/solenostemon/colorblaze-royal-glissade-coleus-solenostemon-scutellarioides