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Beefsteak Plant Perilla frutescens

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
per-IL-lah froo-TESS-enz
Description

An annual native to the Himalayas and Southeast Asia.  It is used as a decorative plant, salad herb, and flavoring in many south and east Asian cuisines; often, the more fragrant var. crispa called Shiso is used instead.  Genus name comes from the Latin word pera meaning bag or wallet in reference to the fruiting calyx.  Specific epithet means shrubby or bushy.

Full sun; grows best in rich, moist soil; very resistant to heat and drought; pinch ends to promote bushiness; grow in mass plantings in beds or borders or in containers; self-seeds prolifically may become weedy

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Round Garden Bed Poolside Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Purple Shiso'
    Purple leaves
  • var. crispa
    Shiso; more deeply toothed leaves and different flavor
'Purple Shiso', var. crispa
Tags:
#sun#heat tolerant#annual#drought tolerant#container plant#weedy#herb garden#moist soil#bedding plant#well-drained soil#organic soils#borders#self-seeding#edible garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Purple Shiso'
    Purple leaves
  • var. crispa
    Shiso; more deeply toothed leaves and different flavor
'Purple Shiso', var. crispa
Tags:
#sun#heat tolerant#annual#drought tolerant#container plant#weedy#herb garden#moist soil#bedding plant#well-drained soil#organic soils#borders#self-seeding#edible garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Perilla
    Species:
    frutescens
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Himalayas to Southeast Asia
    Edibility:
    Leaves as a salad herb, flavoring
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Herb
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Description:
    Two-lipped, nettle-like white flowers in spike-like inflorescences up to 4" tall
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Wrinkled leaves up to 4" long. Purple leaves resemble the color of uncooked beef. Edible and aromatic.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy