Perilla Red (Japanese Herb)
Latin Name: Perilla frutescens
Item #: 422P
PERILLA RED - Beefsteak Plant
Perilla frutescens atropurpurea: Japanese-shiso; Mandarin- zi su, Vietnames-tia to. In Japan red perilla is an important herb plant with Anise tasting wrinkled leaves used to flavor tofu, garnish tempura, add color to picked ginger perserves or as a dried garnish sprinkled on rice dishes. Green perilla is favored by cooks, who use it in seafood dishes to give it a cinnamon flavor. In Vietnam, a bronze (two tone) leaf type is used to wrap grilled meats or serve it raw in salads. Seeds are often ground up and added to soups. In North America both red and green perillas are used as Baby Greens. Sown at heavier rates to produce small leaf, short seedlings that are clipped or harvested as a Mesculin ingredient.
CULTURE: Perilla is a bushy annual herb that also can serve as a good container plant for patios or backyards. Germination is about 10-15 days and a relatively low 70-80%. Seed should be pressed into the soil but not covered (needs light to sprout)
GREENHOUSE: Sow directly into 2 in/5 cm peat pots 8 weeks before your last spring frost, about March 15th in our region.
OUTDOORS: If you are raising Baby Leaves or Mesculin product, sow outdoors June 15th @ 2 seeds per in/2.5 mm in double rows 8 in/20 cm apart. Thin to small plants 4 in/10 cm apart. Start clipping leaves about 6-8 weeks after sprouting. For larger 2.5 ft/76 cm plants space plants at least 12 in/30 cm apart in rows 24 in/61 cm apart. Perilla likes well drained sandy soil in full sun or light shade. Plants will flower in about 95 days from seeding as they reach maturity in late summer and seed pods must be "dead headed" or removed to prevent plants from prolific reseeding which can be invasive to any growing area.