Perilla Shiso

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Perilla, also known as Shiso, Japanese parsley or Chinese basil, is both a leaf vegetable, a vegetable plant, medicinal, aromatic and ornamental. An unclassifiable and surprising plant, definitely worth a try! It is a tender Asian perennial, grown as an annual here, belonging to the mint family. It is therefore a distant cousin of Coleus, but also of mints and salvias, with which it shares a remarkably aromatic foliage and a honey-producing flowering. Its Latin name is Perilla frutescens, in Europe we most often call it Perilla, Nankin Perilla, or Wild Sesame. There are two main forms of Perilla, one with green leaves, and one with red leaves, sometimes referred to as "true Shiso". Some varieties with beautifully variegated foliage (Perilla 'Magilla Purple') are also available, mainly for ornamental purposes, although they can be perfectly used in cooking. This plant has a remarkable aroma, ranging from cinnamon, basil, lemon balm, cumin to green anise. All parts of it are edible. Plant your young Perilla plants in the ground as soon as the risk of frost has passed, in a sunny location and in slightly moist, fresh soil.

 

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