Botanical Name: Perilla frutescens
Species: P. frutescens
*Melissa cretica Lour.
*Melissa maxima Ard.
*Mentha perilloides Lam.
*Ocimum frutescens L.
*Perilla albiflora Odash.
*Perilla avium Dunn
Shiso, Beefsteakplant, Spreading Beefsteak Plant
Along with other plants in the genus Perilla, the plant is commonly called “perilla”. It is also referred to as “Korean perilla”, due to its extensive cultivation in Korea and use in Korean cuisine. In Korean, the name kkae refers to both the plant and the seed of sesame and perilla. Sesame is called chamkkae, while perilla is called deulkkae. Because of this, deulkkae is sometimes mistranslated as “wild sesame”. It is called egoma in Japanese, and, in Chinese, the plant is called ziso or sozi .
The leaves are called “perilla”, “perilla leaves”, or “Korean perilla leaves” in English, and kkaennip ( literally “leaf of kkae”) in Korean. The leaves are called suye or suziye in Chinese.
In the USA, where the plant has become a weed, the plant is known by many names such as perilla mint, beefsteak plant, purple perilla, Chinese basil, wild basil, blueweed, Joseph’s coat, wild coleus and rattlesnake weed.
Perilla frutescens is native to Southeast Asia and Indian highlands, and is traditionally grown in the Korean peninsula, southern China, Japan and India as a crop. It is grown in hills and mountains of central and southern Japan. Sunny and fertile situations in China.
Perilla frutescens is an annual plant growing 60–90 centimetres (24–35 in) tall, with hairy square stalks.
The leaves are opposite, 7–12 centimetres (2.8–4.7 in) long and 5–8 centimetres (2.0–3.1 in) wide, with a broad oval shape, pointy ends, serrated(saw-toothed) margins, and long leafstalks. The leaves are green with occasional touches of purple on the underside.
The flowers bloom on racemes at the end of branches and the main stalk in late summer. The calyx, 3–4 millimetres (0.12–0.16 in) long, consist of upper three sepals and the hairy lower two. The corolla is 4–5 millimetres (0.16–0.20 in) long with its lower lip longer than the upper. Two of the four stamens are long.
The fruit is a schizocarp, 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in diameter, and with reticulate pattern on the outside. Perilla seeds can be soft or hard, being white, grey, brown, and dark brown in colour and globular in shape. 1000 seeds weigh about 4 grams (0.14 oz). Perilla seeds contain about 38-45% lipid.
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Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Specimen. Prefers a light soil. Requires a rich well-drained moisture-retentive soil in full sun. Plants require a well-drained soil but do not need particularly fertile soil. Prefers an acid soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6. The plant is not frost hardy and requires temperatures above 18°c if it is to grow well. The plant requires short days in order to flower. Shiso is often cultivated in the Orient as a food flavouring. There are some named varieties, those with purple leaves being preferred for seed production. Shiso is also cultivated for the oil obtained from its seed. It is sometimes used in sub-tropical bedding schemes in Britain. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is flat with shallow roots spreading near the soil surface.
Surface-sow or only lightly cover the seed in mid spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best at 20°c, though it also succeeds at slightly lower temperatures. Germination is usually quick, prick out the seedlings into trays or individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Give the plants some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. The seed has a short viability and should be used when less than a year old.
Edible young leaves and seedlings – raw or cooked. The flavour is strange to western palates at first, some people detecting cinnamon, others coriander or citrus. Seedlings are added to salads, older leaves are used as a garnish or flavouring. Older leaves are also salted and used as a condiment for tofu and as a garnish for tempura. Leaves from purple cultivars are used to colour preserved fruits. The leaves can also be dried for later use. The leaves contain about 3.1% protein, 0.8% fat, 4.1% carbohydrate, 1.1% ash. Immature flower clusters are used as a garnish for soups and chilled tofu. Older flower clusters are fried and eaten. The seeds are preserved in salt or are used as a spice in pickles, tempura and miso. They are one of the ingredients in ‘Shichimi’ or ‘seven spice’ mixture. The seed can also be eaten cooked. Seeds from purple-leafed forms of the plant are preferred for culinary use. The seed contains about 21.5% protein, 43.4% fat, 11.3% carbohydrate, 4.4% ash. An edible drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is rich in linolenic acid. The plant yields an essential oil which is used as a food flavouring in candies and sauce.
The leaves, stems and seeds of Perilla frutescens are often used in Oriental medicine. It is a pungent, aromatic, warming herb that is antibacterial, antidote, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitussive, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emollient, expectorant, pectoral, stomachic and tonic. The leaves are used in the treatment of colds, chest stuffiness, vomiting, abdominal pain etc. The juice of the leaves is applied to cuts and wounds. The seed is antiasthmatic, antitussive, emollient and expectorant. It is used internally in the treatment of asthma, colds and chills, nausea, abdominal pain, food poisoning and allergic reactions (especially from seafood), bronchitis and constipation. The stems are a traditional Chinese remedy for morning sickness. This herb should be avoided by pregnant women.
Perilla frutescens is a very attractive plant for the garden and attracts butterflies. It is an aromatic plant with a strong minty smell.
A drying oil obtained from the seed is used in making paints, varnishes, water proofing etc. The plant yields 0.3 – 1.3% essential oil, which contains 20% citral. It is used as a food flavouring and in dental products. Attractive leaves. Perilla frutescens, is used as an antidote for ?sh and crab meat allergy or as a food colorant. In the United States, perilla is a weed pest, toxic to cattle after ingestion.
There have been cases of toxicity, including dermatitis, pulmonary oedema, respiratory distress and even death following ingestion by cattle and horses.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.