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Beefsteak Plant, Beefsteak Mint, Perilla Mint - Perilla frutescens


Family: Lamiaceae - Mint family Genus Common Name: Perilla, Beefsteak Plant Native Status: IntroducedDicot Annual Herb
Perilla frutescens - Beefsteak Plant, Beefsteak Mint, Perilla Mint. Perilla frutescens is a monotypic species native to Asia, which has been used as an ornamental and is naturalized in most of the eastern United States. In the west, it is found in the wild in one county in Washington state.

There are reports that this plant is becoming an increasing problem in the eastern seaboard - see Invasive Notes of September 17, 2013 by John Thompson.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI, WV
Perilla frutescens

Distribution of Perilla frutescens in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 18 Oct 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Grundy County, TN Date: 2011-September-17Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The inflorescences of Perilla frutescens are both axillary and terminal racemes that are up to about 6 long. They have several to many small flowers which open in the summer to early fall.
Perilla frutescens

Site: Grundy County, TN Date: 2011-September-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Beefsteak Plant can grow to 6 feet tall, although it is more ordinarily under 3 feet in height. The opposite leaves are on fairly long petioles and are toothed. They are ovate to nearly circular. They may be green - especially when growing in shaded areas - to a dark burgundy when growing in the sun.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Perilla frutescens

Site: Grundy County, TN Date: 2011-September-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The flowers are pink or a pale purple. They have a hairy corolla throat, and extend just a bit beyond the hairy calyx.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Perilla frutescens

Site: Grundy County, TN Date: 2011-September-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The angled stems are usually burgundy although they may be green. They are hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Perilla frutescens

References used for identification and information:

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer