Purple Shiso

Perilla frutescens nankinensis

Purple shiso (Perilla frutescens nankinensis) is a herb that is native to Japan and other parts of East Asia. It is a member of the mint family and has purple or red leaves and stems, with white or pale purple flowers. The plant grows to a height of around 30-80 cm and has a square stem. It is typically differentiated from other plants in the Perilla genus by its purple color and distinct aroma.

Purple shiso prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It can be grown from seed or cuttings, and is typically propagated in the spring or early summer. The plant is not winter hardy and should be grown as an annual in cold climates.

Purple shiso leaves and flowers are edible and can be used fresh in salads or cooked dishes. The leaves can also be pickled or preserved in salt or vinegar. The plant is used in a variety of dishes in East Asian cuisine, including sushi and tempura. It is also used medicinally in some traditional remedies.

Purple shiso can be used as a ground cover or in a mixed border, and its purple leaves can add color to a garden. It is also attractive to bees and other pollinators.

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