Perilla frutescens var. crispa (85 days) Open-pollinated. Introduced in the 1850s from Japan where it’s been prized since the 8th century. Purplish-red anise-scented sharp-flavored leaves are used in sushi, sauces, garnishes, pickles and stir-fries. Used to color umeboshi plums and other pickles red. Also known as zi su, a specific in Chinese medicine for seafood poisoning. Louise Weber of Greenwich, Conn., asserts that deer won’t touch it and plants it around their favorite crops. ③
3283 Red Shiso
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About 500 seeds/g.
Both green and red shiso are highly aromatic and ornamental with frilly serrated leaves. Popular in Japan, the seeds, sprouts, leaves, buds and flowers are all used in cuisine. The seeds are part of Japan's famous seven-spice mix.
Culture: To break dormancy, freeze and thaw the seed several times over a 21–45 day period. Soak seeds several days or until they sprout. Move to indoor flats, then transplant into warm moist well-drained soil. Or direct seed, 1-3 seeds/inch, very lightly covered in soil. Grows to 2'. Absolutely intolerant of frost.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.