Botanical name: Perilla frutescens
Annual herbaceous * of Asian origin, Perilla frutescens is a stout sort by upright growth. The plant can be up to 150 cm tall.
Particularly fascinating is the heart-shaped purplish-bronze-coloured foliage, which is why this variety is also cultivated as an ornamental. Generally in Chinese and Japanese cuisine, just the foliage of Perilla frutescens is main ingredient, both as decoration and as a condiment and as an outline, in seafood. It is also local custom fill the latter with leaves. Even the seeds from the inflorescences are a culinary uses: salted and eaten as delicious snack or used as a spice for flavoring.
Commonly called "shiso" or "Japanese Basil", the plant resembles in appearance species belonging to the genus Ocimum. The aroma of foliage differs a lot from Basil from our knowledge, recalling rather fragrances of melissa and anise.
* Although the plant is classified as an annual *, it is able to self-reproduce by seed.