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Shiso, Beefsteak Plant
Scientific Name: Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt.
Synonym: Mentha perilloides, Melissa cretica, Perilla ocymoides, Ocimum frutescens, Perilla arguta
Family: Lamiaceae
Shiso, Beefsteak Plant (Perilla  frutescens)
Perilla frutescens, picture by Douglas Ladd. USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species.
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: All zones
USDA: Summer annual

Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Origin: Asia

Growth Habits: Annual, 2 to 3 feet tall (60-90 cm); ornamental bedding plant with cinnamon-mint scented, green or brightly colored purplish red leaves, up to 5 inches long (12 cm)

Watering Needs: Likes warm and humid climates, moderate water with good drainage

Propagation: Seeds, self sows if not dead-headed


The seed oil is used for cooking, and as an ink dryer. The seeds are eaten by people, they have a sweet, pungent taste. They are alse used as bird seed. The foliage is cooked as a potherb. A few cut leaves are sometimes used to color the rice pink.

Perilla frutescens, Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 3: 154.

Cultural Practices:
Space one foot apart. Pinch them to keep them bushy.

Blooming Habits:
Pink flowers in late summer.

Fruiting Habits:


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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