Perilla frutescens

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See shiso and deulkkae for further discussions of the two distinct botanical varieties. Also see Perilla for a survey of the genus and economic uses.
Perilla 2985 rbgs11jan.jpg
P. frutescens var. crispa
forma discolor Makino
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Perilla
Species: P. frutescens
Binomial name
Perilla frutescens
(L.) Britton
  • Dentidia nankinensis Lour.
  • Dentidia purpurascens Pers.
  • Dentidia purpurea Poir.
  • Melissa cretica Lour.
  • Melissa maxima Ard.
  • Mentha perilloides Lam.
  • Ocimum acutum Thunb.
  • Ocimum crispum Thunb.
  • Ocimum frutescens L.
  • Perilla acuta (Thunb.) Nakai
  • Perilla albiflora Odash.
  • Perilla avium Dunn
  • Perilla citriodora (Makino) Nakai
  • Perilla crispa (Thunb.) Tanaka
  • Perilla hirtella Nakai
  • Perilla nankinensis (Lour.) Decne.
  • Perilla shimadae Kudô
  • Perilla urticifolia Salisb.

Perilla frutescens is the sole species of the monotypic genus Perilla in the mint family, Lamiaceae. This species encompasses several distinct varieties of Asian herb, seed, and vegetable crop, including shiso and deulkkae.[2] The genus name Perilla is also a frequently employed common name ("perilla"),[3][4] applicable to all varieties.

Perilla frutescens are annual plants with square stems and serrated leaves. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, and the leaf colours range from green to dark green, purple to purplish red. The flowers are white to purple and the seeds can be soft and hard, being white, grey, brown, and dark brown in colour. Perilla varieties are cross-fertile[2] and intra-specific hybridization occurs naturally. Some varieties are considered invasive.[5]

Taxa and synonyma[edit]

The classification of Perilla is confused,[6][7] partly because botanists struggled with distinguishing the two distinct cultigens (as different species or variations). An early example of dividing the two cultigens into different species is found in Matsumura's nomenclature book in 1884,[8] where the synonym P. arguta Benth.[9][10] is applied to P. frutescens var. crispa, and the synonym P. ocymoides L.[9][11] was applied to P. frutescens var. frutescens. However the species name P. ocymoides or P. ocimoides has been used to denote P. frutescens var. crispa for a long time, especially by the Japanese,[12] so it should not be considered a synonym for either cultigen interchangeably.


Culinary use[edit]


The red perilla has red leaves and used mostly in fish stews in China.


Main article: Shiso

The Japanese shiso leaves grow in green, red, and bicolored forms, and crinkly (chirimen-jiso) varieties, as noted. Parts of the plants eaten are the leaves, flower and buds from the flower stalks, fruits and seeds, and sprouts.

Japanese use green shiso leaves raw with sashimi. Dried leaves are also infused to make tea.[citation needed] The red shiso leaf is not normally consumed fresh, but needs to be e.g. cured in salt. The pigment in the leaves turns from purple to bright red color when steeped in umezu, and is used to color and flavor umeboshi.


Main article: Deulkkae

Deulkkae seeds are either toasted and grounded into powder called dulkkaetgaru(들깻가루) or used to make perilla oil called deulgireum(들기름). Both the powder and the oil is used as imortant condiments in Korean cuisine.

The leaves, kkaennip(깻잎) is used fresh, dried or pickled. Kkaennip can be used as a herb or as a vegetable ingredient in the preparation of many dishes. It somtimes substitutes basil in Korean-style western food.

Ornamental use[edit]

The red-leaved shiso, in earlier literature referred to as Perilla nankinensis, became available to gardening enthusiasts in England circa 1855.[16] By 1862, the English were reporting overuse of this plant, and proposing Coleus vershaeffeltii [17] or Amaranthus melancholicus var. ruber made available by J. G. Veitch [18] as an alternative.

It was introduced later in the United States, perhaps in the 1860s.[19][20]

Use of oil[edit]

Main article: Perilla oil

Perilla oil is made of the seeds of P. frutescens var. frutescens. It is well-established that perilla varieties are cross-fertile.[2] The desired essential oil yield will be compromised if the seed for sowing becomes hybridized, and "it is very difficult to distinguish genuine perilla seed from hybrid seed".[21]

Toasted perilla oil is usually for culinary use, mainly in Korean cuisine, while untoasted perilla oil was used used for non-culinary purposes: for lamps, for oilpaper, etc. The press cake remaining after pressing perilla oil is used as fertiliser or animal feed.


  1. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 21 September 2016 
  2. ^ a b c Nitta, Lee & Ohnishi 2003, p.245-
  3. ^ Vaughan & Geissler 2009
  4. ^ Staples 1999,p.82
  5. ^ "Beefsteak Plant (Perilla frustescens)". National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Nitta, Lee & Ohnishi 2003,p.245 "..taxonomically confused because of their morphological similarity."
  7. ^ He, Kosuna & Haga 1997 p.1 "nomenclature of P. is confusing..", similar assessments are made by other works, and here as elwhere Zeevaart 1969 is cited for the comprehensive taxonomical study.
  8. ^ Matsumura 1884, p.136
  9. ^ a b Roecklein & Leung 1987, p. 349
  10. ^ Kays 2011, p.677-8
  11. ^ Blaschek, Hänsel & Keller 1998, vol.3, p.328
  12. ^ e.g. occurs in Heibonsha 1964 Encyclopedia, though the genus name is misspelt
  13. ^ Govaerts, R. (5 September 2014). "Perilla frutescens var. hirtella (Nakai) Makino". Catalogue of Life. Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "Perilla frutescens var. citriodora". TAKAO 599 MUSEUM. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  15. ^ Seidemann, Johannes (2005). World Spice Plants: Economic Usage, Botany, Taxonomy. New York: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. p. 278. ISBN 3540222790 – via Google Books. 
  16. ^ anonymous (March 1855), "List of Select and New Florists' Flowers" (google), The Floricultural cabinet, and florists' magazine, London: Simpkin,Marshall, & Co., 23: 62  "Perilla Nankinesnsis, a new and curious plant with crimsn leaves.."; An earlier issue (Vol. 21, Oct. 1853) , p.240, describe it being grown among the "New Annuals in the Horticultural Society's Garden"
  17. ^ Dombrain, H. H. (1862), Floral Magazine (google), 2, London: Lovell Reeve , Pl. 96
  18. ^ Dombrain, H. H. (1862), "New or rare plants" (google), The Gardener's Monthly and Horticultural Adviser, London: Lovell Reeve, 4: 181 
  19. ^ Maloy, Bridget (1867), "The Horticultural Department:The Culture of Flowers" (google), The Cultivator & Country Gentleman, Alban, NY: Luther Tucker & Son, 29: 222 , "Perilla nankinensis was one of the first of the many ormanental foliaged plants brought into the gardens and greenhouses of this country within few years. "
  20. ^ Foster & Yue 1992,p.306-8 gives mid-19th century as introductory period into the US.
  21. ^ Guenther 1949,p.687-

Further reading[edit]

(herbs and food plant handbooks)
(monogram on species)
(nomenclature, taxonomy)
  • Blaschek, Wolfgang; Hänsel, Rudolf; Keller, Konstantin (1998), Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis (preview), 3 (L-Z), Gabler Wissenschaftsverlage, pp. 328–, ISBN 9783540616191 
  • Guenther, Ernest (1949), The Essential Oils (snippet), Cambridge and New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., pp. 687– 
  • Seo, Won Ho; Baek, Hyung Hee (2009), "Characteristic Aroma-Active Compounds of Korean Perilla (Perilla frutescens Britton) Leaf", Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (browse), 57 (24): 11537–11542, doi:10.1021/jf902669d 
  • Channell, BJ; Garst, JE; Linnabary, RD; Channell, RB (5 August 1977), "Perilla ketone: a potent lung toxin from the mint plant, Perilla frutescens Britton", Science, 197 (4303): 573–574, Bibcode:1977Sci...197..573W, doi:10.1126/science.877573, PMID 877573 
(Chinese perspective)
  • Heibonsha (1964), 世界百科事典(Sekai hyakka jiten)  (world encyclopedia, in Japanese).
  • Oikawa, Kazushi; Toyama, Ryo (2008), "Analysis of Nutrition and the Functionality Elements in Perilla Seeds", 岩手県工業センター研究報告, 15  pdf (in Japanese except abstract)
  • Hiroi, Masaru (広井勝) (2010), "エゴマの成分と利用", 特産種苗, 5 [clarification needed] [ pdf] (in Japanese except abstract)

External links[edit]