Common Name: Perilla
Botanical Name: Perilla frutescens
Type and Use: Annual with edible foliage.
Location: Full sun to light shade
Planting Dates: Spring after the last frost
Planting Method: Seed
Seed Emergence: 1-2 weeks
Harvest Time: Any time during the summer
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Final Spacing: 6-12 inches
Growth Habits: Aggressive annual that spreads readily from seed. It has purple flowers and either burgundy, purple, or green leaves. Perilla is often confused with opal or black coleus.
Culture: Very easy to grow in most any soil. Be careful where you plant it - it might be in your downhill neighbor’s yards next year.
Troubles and Solutions: Perilla reseeds so easily that it can become a pest.
Harvest and Storage: Harvest and eat fresh or store in the refrigerator. Leaves can be frozen for use in the winter.
Notes: Also called Beefsteak Plant. The leaves are used to flavor meat and vinegars. Many Japanese dishes serve a perilla leaf.
Varieties: Green leaf - Green Shiso, Green Cumin. Purple or red - Red Shiso.