Purple shiso (Perilla frutescens var. crispa), also known as purple perilla or beefsteak plant, is a wonderfully ornamental edible. The bushy, branching plants reach about 2 feet tall and wide, with deep purple stems and foliage. Both aromatic and flavorful, the jagged-edged leaves are popular for cooking and as a garnish. You can also dry it for winter use as a seasoning or in tea. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the flavor, but I enjoy growing it just as a foliage accent in the garden or in a container. In late summer and fall, spikes of tiny, pinkish flowers appear at the stem tips. They can attract beneficial insects, but I suggest keeping most of them pinched off unless you want to collect the seeds; otherwise, you’re likely to find a super-abundance of self-sown seedlings the following year. Full sun to partial shade. Annual.
Collected in early October 2021. At least 20 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.