Print This Page



Common Name: Perilla

Botanical Name: Perilla frutescens


Family: Labiatae

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.

  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns