Perilla is also called by its Asian name of Shiso. Shiso is a great herb that adds nice color and texture to the garden. It’s an annual but volunteers sometimes aggressively! It resembles a giant basil or a coleus as it can reach three feet tall with leaves as large your hand. In the Fall spikes of purple flowers are produced much like a coleus. It reaches about three feet so you could always transplant the seedlings to create a annual hedge.


The plant is very fragrant. In Asia it is used as a herb but I find it a little bitter. There is a green leaf form but the purple form is the plant that is usually passed along. I remember seeing it as a child in gardens in Beaufort, North Carolina. Due to it heavy reseeding its often a pass along plant.

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