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Perilla frutescens

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told2b blog photos
Joined: 9/12/2006
Location: Northern, NJ
Posts: 9546
Posted: Aug/22/2008 1:47 AM PST

Anyone grow Purple Perilla (Shiso)?
If it's an annual and they tell you to pinch out the blooms before they set seeds. How do you keep it going from one year to the next?
TulsaRose photos
Joined: 10/26/2004
Location: Tulsa OK z7a
Posts: 232
Posted: Aug/22/2008 4:47 AM PST

T2b, you could allow a couple of flowers to grow late in the season for a supply of seeds. Tip cuttings root very easily in water if you want to mess with overwintering plants indoors. Perilla is considered to be an Annual but you could try potting up a plant to overwinter indoors, just to see if it works. I think most gardeners pinch out the blooms because they are such prolific self-seeders and it also makes a nicer, fuller plant.

Rosie
told2b blog photos
Joined: 9/12/2006
Location: Northern, NJ
Posts: 9546
Posted: Aug/23/2008 4:48 PM PST

Thank you Rosie

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TulsaRose photos
Joined: 10/26/2004
Location: Tulsa OK z7a
Posts: 232
Posted: Aug/24/2008 4:23 AM PST

Wow, that's a beautiful picture! I have the green Perilla and it isn't that pretty.

Rosie
told2b blog photos
Joined: 9/12/2006
Location: Northern, NJ
Posts: 9546
Posted: Aug/25/2008 2:58 PM PST

This is the real beauty, Perilla "fantasy."

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TulsaRose photos
Joined: 10/26/2004
Location: Tulsa OK z7a
Posts: 232
Posted: Aug/26/2008 2:16 AM PST

That's a pretty one, too, but I like the dark purple best! Have you decided what to do about propagating for next year?

Rosie
witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Moderator
Posted: Aug/26/2008 2:56 AM PST

Is that what it is??? I've got that all over the place. I thought that it originally came from some seeds of a purple ruffled basil that I brought back from the beach years and years ago. I had assumed that purple ruffled basil doesn't come back true from seed and that's what it looked like. It volunteers all over the place.
Does it have an odd scent when the leaves are crushed? I used to make a red vinegar from it because it created a gorgeous color. This is the only picture that I can find at the moment. It is at the top left. Is that it?

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told2b blog photos
Joined: 9/12/2006
Location: Northern, NJ
Posts: 9546
Posted: Aug/26/2008 10:04 AM PST

I'm going to try to pot up a plant and take it inside. Don't know how good I'll be about cutting off the blooms before they set seed.
Yes Witt it looks like the plant in your picture and it does look like purple basil.

This is some info on the plant:

This month’s feature is an interesting foliage plant with maroon coloring and deeply-toothed leaves. Perilla, an annual herb, is known almost exclusively by the Japanese name shiso (shee-so), even in English-speaking countries. There are red-leaf (aka-shiso) and green leaf (ao-shiso) varieties, with no perceivable taste difference.

Akashiso is the red  (dark burgundy) form of the plant. Its flavor has been described as curry-like and as a combination of cumin, cilantro, and/or parsley with a hint of cinnamon. The leaves are a superb addition to mesclun salad mixes, a superb garnish served along with sushi, especially good sprinkled over cucumbers, cabbage, or fish. You can also chop and add them to any sauce including pesto. The flowers are edible, and the leaves make a fragrant tea. Also called Japanese basil or Japanese mint, the plants will tolerate full sun or part shade and grow 24/30" tall and 12" wide.

Since it flourishes  in light to medium moist, well-drained and rich soil, located in a sunny location, it can be found in many pastures and along roadsides. This should not turn a gardener away from this plant though, since butterflies love this plant and it is very attractive. Some people refer to it as Japanese parsley since it only has hints of flavor instead of an overpowering taste. The taste is shocking though since while growing the plant has a wonderful mint scent! The entire plant is very nutritious, packed with vitamins and minerals. At one time, it was one of the main ingredients in sarsaparilla.

Perilla frutescens reseeds itself freely to the extent that it actually forms a mat carpet which, if left unchecked, would squeeze out every other plant in the vicinity. In other words, grow only in containers and absolutely do not let them set seed. Pinch the blooms off without hesitation or you'll be sorry! Beautiful but Bad, do not turn them loose in the garden.
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Aug/26/2008 5:19 PM PST

Sounds like something I need to plant along my ditches
witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Moderator
Posted: Aug/28/2008 4:02 AM PST

Everyone clamors for mine every spring. For some reason a lot of folks' plants don't come back. They make a great spot of color among the green. Mine come up mostly in The Patio Garden and The Herb Garden, but they are interspersed in almost every bed.
I sure am glad that I know what it is now.
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