Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Beefsteak Plant (Perilla frutescens)
- Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)
- Flowering: August-October.
- Field Marks: The leaves are purplish on the lower surface.
- Habitat: Along streams, disturbed soil.
- Habit: Annual herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Erect, branched, smooth or hairy, up to 2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, tapering or rounded at the base, smooth or hairy, usually purplish on the lower surface, up to 5 inches long.
- Flowers: Crowded into erect racemes up to 6 inches long; each flower subtended by oval bracts.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below, asymmetrical, 2-lipped, hairy.
- Petals: 5, purple, united, 2-lipped, usually with equal lobes, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Stamens: 4, about as long as the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, 4-parted.
- Fruits: Nutlets 4, red-brown, veiny, up to 1/12 inch long.
- Notes: The leaves have the odor of licorice when crushed.
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